RAIPUR: A Bilaspur court on Tuesday sentenced the additional collector of Narayanpur district, Santosh Dewangan, to seven years in jail for altering land records to benefit a builder. The court also slapped a fine of Rs 1.5 lakh on the officer.
The builder in question, Chitpal Singh Walia allegedly encroached upon a piece of government land and utilised it for a housing project. The court, however, absolved Walia.
As the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) of Bilaspur district in 2009, Dewangan is said to have colluded with Walia, who constructed a big colony at Lingiadih in Bilaspur, 130 km east of Raipur.
He initially imposed a penalty of Rs 1.5 lakh on Walia for encroaching upon the land and constructing a road through it. However, after a few weeks, he quashed his own order in “complicity with Walia”, reduced the penalty from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 15000 and altered the land records in favour of the builder. Both these orders were produced in court as evidence against Dewangan.
A complaint was lodged against Dewangan and Walia with the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in Bilaspur.
Dewangan was accused of causing loss to the government by turning government land into a private asset and for reducing the penalty imposed on Walia.