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Amitabh Bachchan is not a farmer: UP court
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June 01, 2007 13:26 IST

A Faizabad court on Friday dismissed a review writ filed by Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan [Images] in the controversial farming land allotment case, clarifying that he was not a farmer in Uttar Pradesh.

Additional Commissioner Vidya Sagar Prasad in his judgement dismissed the writ by Bachchan in which the actor had sought review of an order of the Barabanki District Magistrate quashing the allotment of a government farming land to him citing violation of rules.

On May 29, the Commissioner's court had reserved the judgement after the 15th hearing of the case.

The previous Mulayam Singh Yadav government had allotted three bighas (about 70,000 sq ft) of prime land in Barabanki district to Bachchan, a close confidante of the Samajwadi Party.

The District Magistrate Barabanki had alleged that the Bollywood icon had 'misrepresented facts' to receive the benefit.

Later, Bachchan also reportedly used the allotment as a testimonial to establish his credentials as a farmer to buy agricultural land in Pune, Maharashtra, as the state's rules do not permit anyone other than a farmer to purchase such land.

It was a query by the Pune Collector in March 2006 to the Barabanki District Magistrate for authentication of the Uttar Pradesh testimonial that revealed the alleged irregularities.

Then Barabanki District Magistrate Ashish Goel cancelled the allotment on the grounds that the land revenue records were fake.

The official was replaced within a few days and his successor Ram Shankar Sahu stayed the cancellation 'till further orders.'

Bachchan then approached the Divisional Commissioner to get the land restored in his name.

Recently, Bachchan had said he was ready to face probe in the matter.

Talking to a news channel, he said, "I am a law-abiding citizen and will obey whatever the law asks me to do. If proved wrong, we are ready to face penalty. If everything is found to be in order, I would say thank you."

He also refused to comment on Mayawati government's decision to probe the legality of the land allotment in Barbanki district, but maintained that the property papers given to him by the government were in order.

"Now, the government is saying that it should be probed...I am ready," he added.

The Election Commission had sought a report from the district administration following a complaint that Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan had not mentioned the said property in her declaration at the time of filing nomination for the Rajya Sabha poll in 2006.

State Principal Secretary (Assembly) R P Pandey probing the matter will pronounce his decision next week.

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