On 13 June, Samajwadi Party’s Tej Narayan Pandey sought a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate into the alleged illicit deal of the Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya where a grand, promised temple of Ram Lalla is coming up following centuries of a dispute over the plot that eventually was settled by the Supreme Court in 2018 in favour of the Hindu claimants. “The trust purchased a piece of land, which had been bought in Rs 2 crore just 10 minutes before, in Rs 18.5 crore on 18 March,” Pandey alleged. Aam Aadmi Party leader Sanjay Singh made similar allegations. “Ravi Mohan Tiwari and Sultan Ansari bought land worth Rs 2 crore at 7:10 PM. At 7:15 PM, Champat Rai of Ram Janmabhoomi Trust bought this land from them for Rs 18.5 crore,” Singh tweeted in Hindi and attached several documents with his post. The INC tweeted about the allegations against Champat Rai too. “Lord Ram, what kind of days are these? Scams are taking place as people seek donations in your name. Shameless robbers are intoxicated with arrogance like Ravana and are selling faith,” INC chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweet, roughly translated from Hindi, read. “The question is how the land bought for Rs 2 crore was sold after 10 minutes to ‘Ram Janmabhoomi’ for Rs 18.50 crores? Now it seems… Kan is ruling, Ravana is everywhere!” Surjewala said in the tweet.
However, a thorough study of the facts of the sale of the plot in Ram Janmabhoomi for the building of a temple for Ram Lalla in Ayodhya would establish there has been no scam, as has been alleged by some vested interests and reported by the media, in the dealings between the parties involved. The first party to the deal was Kusum Rai who sold her land to Sultan Ansari. The stamp duty was paid as per the circle rate. There was hence no loss to the government, contrary to the allegation. The type of the final deed was a sale deed. There was nothing amiss here either, as the stamp was paid by an e-stamp.
The second transaction between Sultan Ansari and Ram Janmabhoomi Trust was, however, not a sale deed. It was an agreement to sell the land. The stamp duty was paid as per the rules. There was no loss to the government here and no loss to the seller either. Even the buyer lost no money. So, where is the scam?
There is no scam if the buyer gets an amount which was agreed upon as per the agreement to sell and further if the government gets the stamp duty as per the circle rate of the land. In this case, in both the transactions, there is no flouting of norms.
It would have been a scandal if the Ram Janmabhoomi Trust had paid less on paper and the rest in black, which is n ot the case. It paid Rs 17 crore out of the agreed amount of Rs 18 crore on paper.
Or, one could call it a scam if the Ram Janmabhoomi Trust had entered the agreement and paid the stamp duty worth an amount less than the government-determined circle rate. But the Ram Janmabhoomi Trust actually paid the stamp duty as per the circle rate. Only somebody absolutely clueless about the technicalities would say there is a scam if one paid more money on record than the other guy who who bought it cheaper.
Very important, the transaction between Sultan Ansari and the Ram Janmabhoomi Trust was not a sale deed; it was an agreement to sell. Some of the arguments in the case are that, one, it was a Rs 10 stamp. So? Since the stamp duty was paid through an e-stamp, the deed could be written on any non judicial stamp paper. Two, the time of the transaction was 7:15 PM. A high-value registry or important registry can be done even post-4:00 PM.
Now the question is why Kusum Rai sold the land for Rs 2 crore. Because she got into a registered agreement to sell the land in 2019 at this amount and stamp duty was paid. There is no way she could refuse to sell the plot. Rs 2 crore was the amount to be paid according to the agreement and the sum was paid in 2019. Following is the official statement issued by Champat Rai, the vice-president of the Vishva Hindu Parishad who is currently serving as the General Secretary of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra:
Champat Rai, Ram temple trust’s general secretary, said in the release that all land that the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra has bought so far has been purchased at a price much less than market rates. “Some political leaders are misleading people. It is meant to mislead society, the people concerned are political and hence motivated by political hatred,” Rai said in the release on Sunday.
“After the Supreme Court’s decision on Shri Ram Janmabhoomi on November 9, 2019, innumerable people from across the country started coming to Ayodhya to buy land. Land prices have increased. The plot on which newspaper discussion is being conducted is a very prominent place near the railway station. The land that Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra has purchased so far has been bought at a price much less than the open market price,” Rai said.
Champat Rai said further that buying and selling of the land are conducted on the basis of mutual dialogue and consent. “After taking consent, the consent form is signed. All types of court fees and stamp papers are being purchased online. The purchase of land is being done on the basis of the consent letter, accordingly, the entire value is transferred online to the seller’s account,” he added.
The Supreme Court ruled in favour of the Ram temple on 9 November 2019, ending a decades-old Ayodhya title dispute. Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the temple during the groundbreaking Ran Janmabhoomi pujan of the Ram temple in Ayodhya in 2020.