Five cases of illegal transfer of 36.30 acres of defence land have come to the notice of the defence ministry in the last three years, Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik said in Parliament on Wednesday.
The minister in a reply to Ravi Kishan and others in the Lok Sabha said, "Directorate General of Defence Estates (DGDE) has informed that 05 cases have come to notice, in the last three years (i.e. from 01.09.2017 to 31.08.2020). Total area involved is 36.30 acres."
In two cases pertaining to Haryana's Narnaud Hisar (area 29.99 acres) and one pertaining to Punjab's Muktsar, (area 6.05 acres), the respective state governments claimed the defence land. In all these cases the matter has been challenged by the Defence Estates Officer concerned and is presently sub-judice in the court of the respective divisional commissioners.
In the two cases in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir's Badamibagh Cantt (area 0.26 acres) the illegal transfer of defence land by private persons through sale deeds has been challenged by filing a suit in the District Court by the Defence Estates Officer.
Another instance has been noticed where an attempt was made to illegally transfer 11.10 acres of defence land in Bengaluru to the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation. "Based on the FIR lodged in the case, the said transfer has been stayed," the Minister said.
He said that in cases of attempts of illegal transfer based on the nature and circumstances of the case, FIRs and criminal cases have been filed against the sellers and purchasers and the courts have been approached to set aside such transactions.
"Competent Revenue authorities have also been approached for not effecting mutation of such transactions. Such transactions are not recognised and no mutation in defence land records are effected," he said.
The minister stated that to prevent such incidences in the future, various steps have been taken.
The defence land across the country has been surveyed by Defence Estates Officers and Chief Executive Officers to clearly demarcate defence land to enable the Services and users to physically protect it.
"Matter has been taken up with the state government vigorously at all levels to mutate remaining defence land in the revenue records," he said.
Suggestions have been made by the Ministry to the Department of Land Resources for amending the Registration Act to make it mandatory for the Sub-Registrar to obtain a 'NOC' from the defence authorities prior to effecting registration of land located in Cantonments and Military Stations.
Wherever such an incidence is reported, immediate legal action is taken to protect the interest of the Government.
Computerisation of defence land records contained in General Land Registers (GLRs) and Military Land Registers (MLRs) with the use of Raksha Bhoomi Software has been done extensively.
"Strengthening of defence land management by way of digitisation of land records, survey, demarcation and verification of defence lands and land audit," the minister said.
The computerization of defence land records under the project 'Raksha Bhoomi' was undertaken by the Directorate General of Defence Estates in association with the National Informatics Centre.