What is Giri Bandhu Tea Estate scam?


February 7, 2024


What is Giri Bandhu Tea Estate scam?

Land under Giri Bandhu Tea Estate Pvt Limited/File photo.

KATHMANDU: The Supreme Court (SC) has overturned the then KP Oli-led government’s decision to permit Giri Bandhu Tea Estate related land swapping case on Wednesday.

After the Constitutional Bench’s verdict to nullify Oli-led government’s decision on the case, Giri Bandhu Tea Estate has again become the issue of interest for many.

The Giri Bandhu Tea Estate scam originated during the Panchayat era when landlords sought ways to prevent the nationalization of excess land.

Budhkaran Rajbansi and the Giri brothers strategically created tea estates to avoid land sealing under the Land Act, 2021. The Gazette notice exempted about 343 bighas from sealing as long as they operated as a tea estate.

Despite the establishment of a multi-party system, the tea estate retained its exemptions through amendments to the Land Related Act 2076.

However, recent developments reveal a plan to exploit these exemptions for illegal land transactions.

Approximately 51 bighas were unlawfully exchanged in 2061, and there are ongoing efforts to sell the remaining land.

Giri Bandhu Tea Estate, currently occupying 280 bighas, is targeted for a controversial land swap.

Real estate businessman Deepak Malhotra is allegedly involved, investing billions to facilitate the exchange of the valuable Birtamod land with less valuable plots in Kachanakbal and Jhapa Rural Municipalities.