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Economic Fraud

IAS Officer Renu Phulia Lands in Hot Water Over a ‘Shady’ Land Deal



A multi-crore land transaction in Haryana, involving top bureaucrats, has been put on hold due to reported irregularities. The deal pertained to a 14-acre land parcel near Panchkula, previously owned by an erstwhile monarch. Ambala Divisional Commissioner Renu Phulia, facilitated the revival of this land’s sale by vacating a 20-year-old stay in September 2023, a decision made in just 16 days.

Shortly after the stay was lifted, Renu Phulia’s husband, State Information Commissioner S S Phulia, and their son entered into an agreement to acquire five acres of the said land. This acquisition, along with other related transactions, came under scrutiny, leading to an immediate halt by the state authorities.

The Panchkula revenue officials, following a directive from the Additional Chief Secretary (Revenue) T V S N Prasad, ceased the registration of transfer deeds for the land. The officials are in the process of determining the surplus and permissible areas of the extensive 1,396-acre estate formerly belonging to King Sardar Bhagwant Singh.

Renu Phulia defended the transaction, stating that her family’s decision to buy the land occurred post the judicial order and was a transparent process. The Phulia family reportedly paid an advance and followed legal protocols, including obtaining government permission for the land purchase.

The incident has triggered an investigation into the land’s status and its eligibility for sale under the Haryana ceiling on land holdings Act, 1972. The case has drawn attention to the complexities of land ownership and the legal framework governing it in the region.

Source: The Indian Express

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