2012: Year of hectic political activity in Himachal
The benami land deals figured prominently throughout the year and both BJP and Congress accused each other of flouting laws and allowing outsiders to purchase large chunks of land in the state.
The report of the Justice D P Sood Commission to probe benami land deals, indicted the government and suggested scrapping of Apartment Act. It also asked the government to delete section 119 of Tenancy and Land Reforms Act which debarred non-agriculturists from purchasing land, if it was unable to implement it in letter and spirit.
The issue of purchase of tea estate land by Prashant Bhushan for setting up an educational institution and land given to Yoga guru Ramdev in Solan district also made news during the year.
The government passed the amended Lokyukta Bill and appointed retired Supreme Court judge L S Panta as Lokayukta but civil society leaders disapproved of the bill and said it did not meet their aspirations.
In a landmark judgement, the Himachal High Court slapped a fine of Rs 100 crore on Jai Pralash Associates Limited for flouting environmental norms for setting up a cement plant and a captive power plant in Solan.
The court also struck down some provisions of the Himachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, 2006, (anti- conversion law), terming these as violative of article 14 of the Constitution which guarantees equality before law to
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