NEW DELHI: An anti-graft body in Jammu and Kashmir has booked Taj Mohi-ud-Din, a senior state Congress leader and minister in the previous NC-Congress coalition government, in a land grab case.

The Vigilance Organisation Kashmir (VOK) Wednesday booked officers of the state's revenue department for allegedly using “fictitious and fraudulent signatures” to transfer the ownership of a large tract of forest land in Kulgam area of south Kashmir in Mohi-ud-Din’s name.

The former PHE and medical education minister of Jammu and Kashmir has also been named in the case (FIR No. 06/2016) filed by the VOK under section 5(1) (d) r/w 5 (2) J&K Prevention of Corruption Act sections 468, 471 and 120-B RPC.

A senior VOK officer said the revenue officers were allegedly bribed to forge the signatures in order to transfer the land to Taj Mohi-ud-Din. "Insertions and corrections were made in revenue records to prepare fictitious record that paved way for the former minister to encroach the forest land under the garb of section 4, 8 and 21 of Agrarian Reforms act, 1976,” the officer said.

The former minister, however, denied the charges and said that a "proper" inquiry should be conducted to unearth the facts in the case. “Almost 40 years have passed from the date of owning the land. Where were the officials if it was fraudulently owned by me. I appeal the VOK to investigate the matter seriously so that the clear details would come out at earliest,” he told a Srinagar based news agency.

In a press statement, the VOK said a verification conducted on the alleged land grab revealed that a mutation under Survey No 3 for 18 kanals two marlas was shown recorded under Section 4 and 21 of Agrarian Reforms Act, 1976 under “fictitious and fraudulent signatures” of the then Tehsildar by the then clerk of Tehsil Office, Shopian, identified as Atiqulla Shah.

“He had done it in connivance with other officers/official of Revenue Department and beneficiary Taj Mohi Ud Din S/o Khuda Baksh R/o Batamaloo Srinagar. mutation No. 614/1 dated 26.06.1991 entry under section 8 Agrarian Reforms Act has been shown made while as entry under section 4 has been shown made on 29.12.1992," the VOK statement said.

“Verification has also revealed that in order to extend illegal benefit upon beneficiary Taj Mohi ud Din, the Khasra No. for land measuring 18 Kanals and 02 marlas was inserted fraudulently in the mutation No. 614/1 dated 26.06.1991 with no mention of receipt of levy its number and date of deposit if any said fraudulent entry was not authenticated and encircled by mutating authority but later on inserted and making further correction and over writings on various survey Nos and the total quantum of land at the foot note of the said mutation No. 614/1,” the statement said.

Officials said a fraudulent entry under section 8, 4 and 21 and 1976 Agrarian mutation No. 493 dated 15.12.1982 which showed the said Survey no. 3 Agrarian Reforms Act under Mutation No. 551,614/1 were also in contravention of mutation No. 493 dated 15.12.1982 which showed the said Survey No. 3 to be under occupation on one Gulla and S Nanak Singh S/o S. Sanmaka Singh at the time of said mutation.