Transfer of Dalit land to MRVT in Ayodhya Illegal

Ayodhya Land dispute Law Insider

Munmun Kaur

Published On: January 06, 2022 at 12:57 IST

Recently, a Government order of August 22, 1996 transferring about 21 bighas of Dalit land to Maharishi Ramayan Vidyapeeth Trust (MRVT), was declared void by the Assistant Record Officer (ARO) Court in Ayodhya.

The Court has held the transfer to be Illegal and has now vested the land, free from all encumbrances, in the State Government.

Apparently, the decision came five days after an investigation by The Indian Express revealed that local MLAs, close relatives of bureaucrats, and kin of revenue officials, in the recent past have bought land in Ayodhya to benefit from the momentum in the real estate market after the Supreme Court’s Ayodhya Verdict of November 09, 2019.

On December 22, 2021, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath ordered inquiry into the land deals. One transaction particularly raised question of propriety and conflict of interest as the buyers were closely related to some of the officials who were probing the seller i.e. Maharishi Ramayan Vidyapeeth Trust (MRVT).

To make sure the Acquisition complied with the Land Laws that barred acquisition of agriculture land belonging to Dalit persons by a non-Dalit, MRTV, in 1992, used a Dalit person employed with the trust to buy land parcels in Barhata Manjha village from about a dozen Dalit villagers.

The Assistant Record Officer, Bhan Singh stated that he cancelled the August 1996 order of survey-naib tehsildar as it was Illegal and forwarded it to the Sub-Divisional Magistrate for further action. He also recommended an action be taken against the then survey-naib-tehsildar Krishna Kumar Singh. Although, no recommendation of action to be taken against the MRVT was given since no Forgery was involved.

As per the sources, the Illegality of land transaction was brought to light in September, 2019 when MRVT started selling parcel of the Dalit land. One of the Dalit who sold land MRVT even came forward and complained to the Uttar Pradesh Board of Revenue that his land had been ‘Illegally transferred’.

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