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Recent Claims On Priyanka Gandhi’s House In Chharabra Being Illegal Are Misleading

Priyanka Gandhi “formally became the owner of four bighas and five biswas of land in Charabra on the outskirts of the town after the registry was done in her name on a payment of Rs 46.79 lakh.”

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Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's house in Chharabra, Himachal

Multiple social media users claimed that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s house in Chharabra, Himachal Pradesh is illegal. 

The hashtag #DemolishPriyankaHimachalHome began trending on Twitter last week with many users demanding Gandhi’s Himachal home be demolished. Some of these users include supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party. A few examples of these claims can be read below. 

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Respected @jairamthakurbjp Ji please #DemolishPriyankaHimachalHome Illegal property.@TajinderBagga @KapilMishra_IND pic.twitter.com/z6w1zYlIR0

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So Section 118- which prevents outsiders to buy land in Himachal is applicable for every Indian except for a certain political figure. High time @CMOFFICEHP looks into all legal aspects of Priyanka Gandhi’s home in Shimla! #DemolishPriyankaHimachalHome pic.twitter.com/wUK5lE7lLt

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Waiting for Himachal Government to #DemolishPriyankaHimachalHome

More such claims can be viewed here

Fact Check/ Verification 

Note this isn’t the first time Gandhi’s house in Himachal Pradesh has become a topic of dispute. This house has caught the attention of the media and public before as well, and the reason remains that according to the law, no outsider or non-agriculturists can buy land in Himachal Pradesh.

However, a 2007 Tribune India article reads, Priyanka Gandhi “formally became the owner of four bighas and five biswas of land in Charabra on the outskirts of the town after the registry was done in her name on a payment of Rs 46.79 lakh.”

With regard to the validity of the land and house, Section 118 of the H.P. Tenancy & Land Reforms Act, 1972 allows people from outside of Himachal to buy land in the state to build a house. In Gandhi’s case well, the then government sold her the land under this law. 

Under the H.P. Tenancy & Land Reforms Act, 1972, there are provisions that must be complied with before the government can sell the land as well as certain exceptions to these provisions. You can read all the details of the Act here

Section 118 of HP Tenancy and Land Reforms Act, 1972, GOI
Section 118 of HP Tenancy and Land Reforms Act, 1972, GOI

As reported by The Hindu in 2013, “There were 52 educational societies and three private universities among the 881 entities who were permitted to buy land over the period. Several hydropower companies, corporate house, industrial units and religious bodies were also among those for whom permissions under Section 118 of the HP Land Tenancy and Reforms Act 1972 were allowed,” said the then Revenue Minister Kaul Singh Thakur during a question hour. 

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan are among the “881 individual beneficiaries, companies, societies and trusts granted permission in the last three years to buy land in Himachal Pradesh,” states the article.  

A 2013 Indian Express article details how BJP’s Prem Kumar Dhumal led government granted permissions to purchase land in the state between 2010-2012. A majority of whom are outsiders and non-agriculturist Himachalis. 

“Priyanka tops the list. She was granted permission in 2011 to purchase 922 sqm of land in addition to the three-and-a-half bigha that she had bought during the 2006-2007 BJP for construction of a cottage in high security zone of Charrabra, close to President’s Summer Retreat,13 km from Shimla. The BJP government allowed her to buy the additional land near the plot she already owned.”

Petition Filed By Activist 

An Indian Express report explains a petition filed by RTI activist Dev Ashish Bhattacharya. His petition seeked details on Gandhi’s property and permission granted by the state government under section 118 of HP Tenancy and Land Reforms Act. 

In The Wire article titled, “As Details of Priyanka Gandhi’s Land Deal Surface, RTI Petitioner Alleges Foul Play,” Bhattacharya’s suspected flaws in the land deal are detailed.  The article also includes a response to his RTI by the DG of Shimla. 

As per The Wire’s article, Bhattacharya found four major flaws in the land deal:

  1. Three land deals in the state are not permissible, so how did Gandhi purchase it?
  2. Purchase of land only allowed with permission of board. But no board was formed in this purchase.
  3. Construction not completed in two years  
  4. No notice was sent to Gandhi despite the above point 

Newschecker spoke with senior advocate Vishwa Mohan Sharma of Himachal Pradesh High Court in order to understand the law pertaining to the above questions. In response to the first two questions, he said there is no such provision in this law. 

With regard to the construction, Sharma said according to the law, the purchased land has to be “put to use” within two years of purchase. The law does not state that construction has to be completed within two years. 

However, Sharma explained that there are a few doubtful points with regard to Gandhi’s land purchase in Himachal. One such point is allowing Gandhi, an outsider in Himachal to purchase land within a short time frame. These questions can only be asked from a moral ground as no rules have been violated from a legal standpoint in this purchase, he adds. 

Conclusion 

Our research makes it clear that land purchased by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in Himachal is not illegal. Though the way in which certain rules were relaxed including allowing her to purchase in a short time-period can be questioned. Therefore, the claim on Gandhi’s Himachal home being illegal is misleading. 

Result: Misleading 

Our Sources

Government of Himachal Pradesh Revenue Department

The Tribune India

The Hindu

Indian Express

Indian Express

The Wire


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Fact check

Cipla Did Not Issue A Statement On Remdesivir’s Direct Supply To Hospitals

Cipla set up an additional helpline to share information on availability of critical Cipla products for COVID-19 in July, 2020.

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Cipla's additional helpline for information on critical COVID-19 products

Cipla will supply the drug Remdesivir directly to a patient’s hospital, shows an image widely circulated on social media platforms. The accompanying image includes details of Cipla helpline for COVID-19 as well as other details on the drug. 

We received the image in context on our Whatsapp helpline number asking us to verify this claim. 

Claim on Cipla supplying Remdesivir directly to hospitals.
Claim on Cipla supplying Remdesivir directly to hospitals.

This claim with the accompanying image has been circulating on social media platforms since July this year.

Fact Check/ Verification 

On 15 July, Cipla, the global pharmaceutical company “set up an additional #helpline to share information on availability of critical Cipla products, for the #COVID19 pandemic period only.” 

The image in the claim is almost identical to the one shared by the company about their additional helpline. Except it does not include details on the drug. 

This claim began to circulate on social media platforms at a time when the company launched “its generic version of broad-spectrum anti-viral drug remdesivir (branded Cipremi), to be used on critically ill Covid patients in the hospitals,” reported Financial Express. 

Costing Rs. 4000, you can read more about Cipla’s remdesivir Cipremi launched in India here

We reached out to Cipla who clarified that they didn’t issue any such statement as written in the image. “The second part of the message (after the poster) is not a statement by Cipla,” they said. 

The obvious grammatical errors in the image also led to suspicion on its authenticity. This includes the spelling of the drug Remdesivir, which was incorrectly written as “Rendemsivir”. Other errors include doctor’s advice written as “Dr. s Advise”, and written as “N” and no full stops at the end of a sentence. 

Conclusion 

The claim with the accompanying image which states that Cipla will supply the drug Remdesivir directly to a patient’s hospital is false. The pharmaceutical company did not issue any such statement. A poster of Cipla’s helpline to share information on its critical products has been modified to fit the claim. 

Result: False 

Our Sources

Direct confirmation from Cipla

Cipla’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/Cipla_Global/status/1283381524704849920?s=20

Cipla’s website: https://www.cipla.com/covid-care

Financial Express: https://www.financialexpress.com/lifestyle/health/cipla-launches-remdesivir-claims-it-is-inexpensive/2018015/

LiveMint: https://www.livemint.com/news/india/coronavirus-vaccine-cipla-launches-generic-version-of-remdesivir-in-india-11594223346722.html



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Fact check

Kerala Police Officer Pins Down Youth Congress Worker, Not BJP Member

The man pinned to the ground was identified as Anthony, a Youth Congress worker, reported The News Minute.

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Kerala police officer pins Youth Congress worker down

A social media user tweeted an image of a Kerala police officer pinning a man to the ground. The user claims that the man is a member of Bharatiya Janata Party in Kerala. The tweet reads:

“This is how Kerala Police deal with @BJP4Keralam and @YUVAMORCHABJP at Thiruvananthapuram on #KTJaleelResign protest!”

Fact Check/ Verification

The photograph in context of a police officer pinning a man to the ground in Kerala has created quite a stir on social media platforms. Some users have equated the photograph to police brutality faced by the late George Floyd in Minneapolis, USA. 

When some of our intellectuals and media said Kerala has achieved conditions of living comparable to those of most…

Posted by Karthikeyan Ramakrishnan on Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Through a reverse image search of the photograph we came across a News Minute article from 15 September titled, “Kerala cop pins Congress worker to ground during protest, pic sparks outrage.” 

The News Minute story on Kerala police officer pinning Youth Congress worker down
The News Minute story on Kerala police officer pinning Youth Congress worker down

The man pinned to the ground was identified as Anthony, a Youth Congress worker, “in order to allow Kerala Higher Education Minister KT Jaleel’s convoy to pass through,” according to the article.

It further quotes State Congress vice-president and former legislator PC Vishnunadh who called the police act shameful. “Just see the cruelty that was shown to one of our young activist Antony, who turned into a victim of police high-handedness, as literally a replay of what happened in the US was played out,” he said. 

Kerala Protests Turned Violent

Last week, Kerala witnessed widespread protests by various political parties demanding the state’s higher education minister KT Jaleel’s resignation. This was after he was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate in relation to a gold smuggling case. 

These protests which turned violent in many areas with police using water cannons included members of the Congress party, BJP, ABVP, Mahila Morcha and the Muslim league.

You can read more about the anti-government protests in Kerala here.

Member of AICC, Indian National Congress, VT Balram also posted the photograph in context on 14 September with the caption, “Citizen and Pinarayi government.”

പൗരനും പിണറായി സർക്കാരും

Posted by VT Balram on Monday, September 14, 2020

Chief photojournalist of Malayala Manorama Daily, Josekutty Panackal, shared a video published by Manorama News reporting about the photograph. 

അങ്കമാലി അമ്മാവൻ പ്രധാനമന്ത്രി… 🏃🏃‍♀️🏃🏃‍♀️🏃‍♂️

Posted by Josekutty Panackal on Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Manorama Online also reported on the incident on 14 September. 

Conclusion

Our research makes it clear that the police officer in the photograph is pinning a Youth Congress worker to the ground, and not a member of Bharatiya Janata Party. 

Result: Misleading 

Our Sources

The News Minute: https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/kerala-cop-pins-congress-worker-ground-during-protest-pic-sparks-outrage-133126

New Indian Express: https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/2020/sep/12/kerala-gold-smuggling-case-protests-erupt-in-state-demanding-minister-jaleels-resignation-2195950.html

The Hindu: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/gold-smuggling-case-anti-govt-protests-roil-kerala-for-sixth-day/article32628592.ece

Member of AICC, Indian National Congress, VT Balram: https://www.facebook.com/vtbalram/posts/10157974220694139

Chief photojournalist of Malayala Manorama Daily, Josekutty Panackal: https://www.facebook.com/josekuttyp/posts/3479483808768662

Manorama Online: https://www.manoramaonline.com/news/kerala/2020/09/14/protest-against-kerala-government.html

Prathmesh Kunt contributed towards research of this fact check.


If you would like us to fact check a claim, give feedback or lodge a complaint, WhatsApp us at 9999499044 or email us at checkthis@newschecker.in. You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill the form.

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Weekly Wrap: A Look At The Different Political, Health, And Celebrity Related Claims In India

In 5 minutes read the Top 5 Fake News of the week.

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Top 5 Fake News of the week.

Claims related to India-China dispute in Ladakh were on a rise this past week. Along with this, social media users revived an old claim related to Indian actress Sridevi’s death. Continue reading to learn more about the top five among these.

2018 Image Of MI-17 Helicopter Crash Shared With Misleading Claims Related To Ladakh

Our research makes it clear that the photograph in the claim is from an Indian Air Force MI-17 helicopter crash in Kedarnath, Uttarakhand in April 2018. The cargo chopper collided with an iron girder while attempting to land near Kedarnath temple. 

Read Full Fact Check Here

Recent Claims On Priyanka Gandhi’s House In Chharabra Being Illegal Are Misleading

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in Himachal is not illegal. She “formally became the owner of four bighas and five biswas of land in Charabra on the outskirts of the town after the registry was done in her name on a payment of Rs 46.79 lakh.”

Read Full Fact Check Here

ICMR Did Not Release Any Guidelines For Use Of Ivermectin In COVID-19 Treatment, UP Government Did

On 6 August, the Uttar Pradesh government released guidelines on the use of Ivermectin (Tab) to prevent COVID-19 infection, not ICMR.

Read Full Fact Check Here

Social Media Posts Claiming Sridevi’s Death ‘Not A Natural One’ Are False

It’s clear that Sridevi’s death occurred due to accidental drowning in her hotel room in Dubai. Posts which state that the actor passed away an unnatural death due to external toxins injected in her body are false. 

Read Full Fact Check Here

Did Facebook Launch “Mark Yourself Safe From Shivsena Goons” Feature?

Facebook did not launch a new feature where people can mark themselves safe from Shivsena Goons. It is a work of fiction by a satirical web portal, The Fauxy.

Read Full Fact Check Here


If you would like us to fact check a claim, give feedback or lodge a complaint, WhatsApp us at 9999499044 or email us at checkthis@newschecker.in. You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill the form.

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