Vasundhara Raje Deendayal Upadhyay Trust and Land Scam

Vasundhara Raje Deendayal Upadhyay Trust and Land Scam 

Author: Lagan Singh, New Law College, Bharati Vidyapeeth, Pune ( Maharashtra )


It is a fact that Vasundhara Raje was the former Chief Minister of Rajasthan, when she was the Chief Minister, she started a land trust named Deendayal Upadhyaya Trust. Now, what is a land trust? A land trust means when any organization takes ownership of any property, on the request of its owner, the owner remains the owner of the said property in trust, it is a legal transaction, and the organization that takes the requested property becomes the holder of the property. Land trusts can be revocable as well as irrevocable, it depends on the owner to decide the same. In India, private trusts are governed by the Indian Trust Act, of 1882, and the public trusts mostly follow state legislations about trusts. Deendayal Upadhyay Trust is a charitable land trust that was involved in a land scam, the scam came up in the year 2006, and it is considered one of the biggest land scams in India. People involved in this scam were charged with cheating, criminal breach of trust, and criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code, 1860, and an FIR was to be lodged within eight working days, after these charges were levied the case was transferred to CID crime branch. FIR was filed against former CM Vasundhara Raje, Lalit Kishore Chaturvedi ( former state president of Bhartiya Janta Party), Ajay Pal (former housing board chairman), Pratap Singh Singhavi ( former housing and urban development minister), and Ashok Parnami who was the former Mayor. The FIR was eventually quashed because the Trust returned the land after this much controversy and no case existed thereafter. Our society is complex and large as is our legal system, there is a lot of corruption and scams, some come out in front of our eyes and some of them remain hidden, no matter how strict the system becomes, there are always some unwanted components that are always present and ruin the systematic legal system with their malafide, evil intentions, there is no possibility that these scams and corruptions will ever be removed from the roots of this society, they will stay as long as legal system and society, with every good comes something bad and this is the bad that came up with the legal system.

The issue 

In the posh area, civil lines, of Jaipur city, land costing 50 crores was allotted to the Deendayal Upadhyay Trust Fund for only 65 lakhs, which means at only five percent of the reserve price and 95 percent concessional rate. The land was allotted when the trust was still unregistered.

  • Timeline 
  1. April 2006 – The trust was founded.
  2. July 2006 – The land was allotted.
  3. August 2006 – The trust was registered. 

A Public Interest Litigation was filed by Prakash Kukkar, who is a lawyer, and after this PIL was filed, this scam came to light. After this PIL, the court gave orders to file charges and to file FIR. Later in 2008, the FIR was quashed because no case existed as the trust had already returned the land. In 2009, the court said that criminal charges were to be lodged against the people involved in this scam.

  • Charges 
  1. Section 420, Indian Penal Code, 1860 – This section of the Indian Penal Code deals with cheating, when any person dishonestly induces a person who has been deceived, to deliver any property or document which is valuable is said to commit the offense of cheating and shall be imprisoned for a term which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine.
  2. Section 409, Indian Penal Code, 1860 – This section of the Indian Penal Code provides for criminal breach of trust by a public servant, banker, merchant, or agent. Whoever of these, entrusted with a property, commits criminal breach of trust related to that property, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to a fine.
  3. Section 120-B, Indian Penal Code, 1860 – This section of the Indian Penal Code provides for punishment for criminal conspiracy, whoever commits an offense punishable with death, if no punishment is given under the act then the person shall be liable as if he had abetted such offense. If the person commits an offense punishable other than death then he shall be liable for imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or with a fine or both.

These charges were levied on the persons involved in the scam, after the FIR was quashed, the court said that all the documents of allotment and cancellation were to be presented to the court. According to a resource, the case was still with the CID as of 2013 and nothing can be found out about this scam after this. When the PIL was filed, the opposition Congress party leader, Ashok Gehlot also raised his voice, he said returning the property does not justify the crime that has been committed. Corruption charges were also levied on the people involved, the land that was given was not as per the Rajasthan Public Trust Act, there is no provision in the act about allotting land before the registration of a trust, and the land was allotted by the Jaipur Developmental Authority before the registration of the trust, the Jaipur Developmental Authority was also at fault of not checking the registration of the trust or it might have checked but out of greed and corruption, they allotted the land.


This article is short as not much information can be found about this scam, but with little disclosure of the facts, it can be seen that this was a big scam that could have taken place if the chaos was not there about this on the media, because of the controversy the trust returned the land and the scam was prevented. It is clear that there is no provision in the Rajasthan Public Trust Act about allotting land to an unregistered fund but the Jaipur Developmental Authority ignored and undermined this and allotted the land to the Deendayal Upadhyay Trust, this shows greed and corruption in the system, the land was of 50 crores and was allotted for only 65 lakhs, it is not even one-sixteenth of the total cost. Corruption has groped our legal system, this is only one of many scams, yes it was prevented from happening just because of all the media attention but other scams are there that could not have been prevented and caused a huge amount of loss to the whole economy of our country. These scams cannot be prevented until and unless the corrupt officers are removed from the legal system, which seems quite impossible as there are so many of them, these little fishes find loopholes and make the whole pond dirty. One thing that can be done is removing all the loopholes, but how can it be possible for this large society of our country India, many provisions and acts are there for different types of crimes, and it is illogical to think that every provision and act to be altered because the alteration may look without any loophole today but tomorrow another fish comes and finds another loophole, and besides that, it is a time-consuming process and can ruin the whole legal system. Laws and scams are the two sides of a coin and cannot be separated, they are like day and night which means one cannot exist without the other.

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