Shimla-Priyanka Vadra, daughter of Congress President Sonia Gandhi and lawyer Prashant Bhushan are among the 881 non-agriculturists who were given permission under law to purchase land in Himachal Pradesh during past three years, Revenue minister Kaul Singh told the Assembly today.
Priyanka Vadra was given permission to purchase additional 922 sq mts of land near Retreat (Chharabra) in 2011 for constructing a cottage while Kumud Bhushan Educational Society of Prashant Bhushan was given permission to purchase 4.68 hectare land near Palampur town in Kangra district in 2010. Section 118 of HP Tenancy and Land Reforms Act 1972 bars any non-agriculturist, including bonafide Himachalis permanently residing in the state from generation to generation without the permission of the government.
In another written reply, the Revenue minister said that 246 cases of violation of section 118 have been registered during past three years and maximum number of 61 cases is in Shimla, followed by 47 in Hamirpur.
As many as 52 eeducational societies and three private universities figured in the list of 881 people, who were given permission to buy land. The land, meant for setting up a cottage at a height of 8,300 feet amid thick verdant forests of pine and cedar, is located some 15 km uphill from state capital Shimla.
Earlier, Priyanka Vadra in 2007 purchased a three-and-a-half bigha (one bigha is 0.4 hectare) of land for construction of the cottage and the additional land adjacent to the old land. PTI