No end to 88-yr-old’s lonely battle against land mafia

It’s been 29 years since 88-year-old retired government servant Virendra Kumar Bhussry relieved himself from an upright life of service as a class one officer. But the last eight years of his life hav

Published: 19th August 2017 11:25 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th August 2017 08:01 AM   |  A+A-

Workers carrying debris of the demolished building in West Punjabi Bagh

NEW DELHI: It’s been 29 years since 88-year-old retired government servant Virendra Kumar Bhussry relieved himself from an upright life of service as a class one officer. But the last eight years of his life have been rather turbulent. He and his daughter have been running from pillar to post to get the possession of the 550 square yard land in West Punjabi Bagh—where his brother’s bungalow was built—that was encroached upon by their trusted caretaker’s grandson.

The case traces its roots to August 2005 when Bhussry, being the only heir, inherited his deceased brother Balraj Bhussry’s estate. But when he started reconstructing the property in 2011, house caretaker Saligram’s grandson Kartar Singh obstructed the work. But Singh did not succeed, and a few days later he filed a suit seeking stay, in the Tis Hazari court that sent summon for a civil suit to Bhussry. Singh claimed that he was a tenant in the property and was paying a monthly rent of `2,000. He also alleged that Balraj had threatened him to vacate the property in April 2011.

“How can a person file a false case against a dead man?” said Bhussry, who immediately approached the High Court, which granted an ex-parte stay order restraining Singh from interfering in his engagements. Punjabi Bagh station house officer was directed to ensure compliance of the order. Later, an injunction order was passed by the current Acting Chief Justice of Delhi HC Gita Mittal on May 13, 2011. But violating the court order, Singh and his accomplices demolished the property in June 2017.

Kshitij Sharda, the legal counsel for the case, said, “The aged and lonely are sitting ducks for land mafia in Delhi-NCR. The land mafia from the neighbouring states has found inroads using drivers, gardeners, caretakers and guards as spies in the city. The tactic is to turn vulnerable properties into disputed ones to get possession of the land.”

Bhussry said, “The collusion of police and SDMC authorities has allowed the fraud to continue unabated. There should be a dedicated cell with a reporting mechanism and mandated response time to resolve grievances of senior citizens.”

Meanwhile, in its June 19 order, the HC restrained them from carrying out demolition/construction or from creating any third party right or transferring possession of the said property or a part thereof. In despair, Bhussry approached the Prime Minister’s office, but to no avail.

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