3 former CEOs of Patnitop authority among 72 booked for encroachment
NEWDELHI:The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a case against 74 people, including three former CEOs of Patnitop Development Authority (PDA), in connection with alleged illegal constructions and encroachment of land in Jammu & Kashmir’s resort town of Patnitop, officials aware of the matter said. At least 62 owners, partners of various hotels, resorts, guest houses and cottages in Patnitop have also been booked.
Residences and offices of the three, K K Gupta, MA Malik, and SM Sahni, were among the premises the CBI raided at 11 locations on Tuesday in Jammu, Udhampur, Kathua.CBI registered the case on August 1 on the basis of a preliminary inquiry launched in January this year on the directions of J&K high court to investigate the irregularities.
It has also named five public servants, Rakesh Kumar Sarangal, Raman Kumar Kesar, Rajendra Singh, Avish Jasrotia, and Zaheer Abbas, as accused. HT could not locate any of the accused for a comment.
CBI spokesman R K Gaur said many constructions were allegedly carried without PDA’s permission. “It was alleged that officials did not take action despite being aware of such encroachment. In some cases, no compounding fee was allegedly deposited by the hotels.” Out of 59 hotels, guest houses and resorts under probe, only 21 were registered with the department. But their period for registration has expired and they were being illegally run. “There are eight hotels/guest houses/resorts who have not been issued registration that are being run illegally.”
CBI REGISTERED THE CASE ON THE BASIS OF A PRELIMINARY INQUIRY ON THE DIRECTIONS OF J&K HC TO INVESTIGATE THE IRREGULARITIES