When Bharatsinh Solanki, a resident of Shahpur village in Gandhinagar, got a court notice about the sale of his 30-bigha ancestral plot, he was shocked. He had never signed any such deal. He approached the police, and the investigation revealed that the papers for the land deal had been forged. What is more surprising is that the deal had been authorised by a notary who has been dead for more than a decade.
The police came across a second case where the dead notary’s seal was used to grab land in Ahmedabad district. Police have begun investigations.
Both the land deals had taken place in 2022, and the documents were stamped by notary BB Gandhi from Rajkot, who died on February 23, 2010. The first case came to light in July 2022. Fraudsters tried to grab Solanki’s plot in Dabhoda village of Gandhinagar.
In December 2020, Solanki received a notice from the Gandhinagar civil court showing him as a respondent in a land deal case. He approached the Gandhinagar district collector and a special investigation team (SIT) probing forged land deals began an investigation. The police found that Gandhi, whose stamp was on the documents, had died 12 years ago.
The second case was reported from the Ahmedabad district after an NRI couple’s land measuring around 1,310 sq m in Lapkaman village was sold using the dead notary’s stamp.
On December 30, 2020, the couple’s son Brijesh Patel, 46, spotted a notice regarding title clearance of the land and filed a complaint with Bopal police. The forged documents showed that Brijesh’s father, Ramanlal, who was in the US since 2016, had sold the land to builder Hitesh Patel from Detroj for just Rs 13 lakh.
Sources in the police and Ahmedabad district collector’s office also said that various political leaders had allegedly notarised their election affidavits in the 2007 assembly poll and 2009 Lok Sabha poll through Gandhi. Besides, several land mafias began using his seal to authorise fake land deal documents.
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