The Shahdol Commissioner has raked up grave charges against a serving State Information Commissioner, who during a past tenure had purportedly violated the revenue code to transfer a pond, meant for government ownership, to a private entity for a nominal fee “causing heavy loss” to the Madhya Pradesh government.Although the 12-hectare Mansarovar pond on unoccupied land in Gyaraspur of Vidisha district should have been vested in the government, wrote Shahdol Commissioner R.B. Prajapati to a State-level Principal Secretary, Rajkumar Mathur, the District Collector had parted away the State’s rights in 2005 in an “illegal and unauthorised way”.“Therefore, I request you to initiate the removal from the service of Mr. Mathur, now a State Information Commissioner,” wrote Mr. Prajapati, even though the district falls under the Bhopal division.‘Delay in inquiry’Due to the delay in an inquiry and the pendency of the case with the General Administration Department, he wrote, Mr. Mathur acquired the constitutional post for which he was “ineligible on moral and statutory grounds”.“If according to him,” wrote Mr. Prajapati, “the Mansarovar pond was a private land, it should have been vested in the State Government under Section 251 of the Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code, 1959. Instead, he gave it up for exchange.”According to the Section, all tanks situated on unoccupied land in the State on or before the date of coming into force of the Act should vest in the State government. The Act abolishes the rights of intermediaries in the area on a tank, which may be used by villages for irrigation.Moreover, although the pond didn’t fulfil the exchange parameters laid down under the revenue book circular, still it was given up under it in an illegal and unauthorised way, he alleged. “The Section is one of the most important ones enacted in public interest,” he wrote, “It has the same effect as the Madhya Pradesh Ceiling on Agricultural Holding Act, 1960, under which there is a provision to vest private land in the State government by declaring it surplus,” he said.‘In cold storage’Mr. Prajapati claimed he had brought the case to the attention of the GAD and other departments on July 14, 2008, as a consequence of which the Under Secretary to the Government of India (Ministry of Personnel and Training) had directed the State’s Chief Secretary to take action. “However, no serious inquiry was undertaken and the case was thrown into the cold storage,” wrote Mr. Prajapati.