Smriti Irani
Dalit student's suspension in Hyderabad University not related to his caste, says Smriti Irani. Picture: Union Minister Smriti IraniIANS

An Amethi court on Wednesday ordered the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust to return a plot of land it had bought from an industrial house to Uttar Pradesh State Industrial Development Corporation (UPSIDC), media reports said.

The order, passed by the revenue court of Gauriganj sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Vandita Srivastava, comes days after Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani had questioned the sale of the land to the trust as she accused the Gandhi family of "land-grabbing".

The plot in Kauhar village belonged to UPSIDC and was illegally transferred in the name of the trust, PTI quoted SDM Srivastava as saying.

Farmers' lawyer Uma Shankar Pandey told the agency that the regional manager of UPSIDC had written a letter to Amethi district magistrate stating that since the land was given on lease to the company, the auction process should be cancelled and it should be returned to the government body.

Meanwhile, reacting to the development, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi reportedly said that the trust "has explained itself very very clearly".

"It runs a self-help group system that is the largest in Uttar Pradesh. They have created SHGs for over 1.4 million women. They have transformed lives of millions and millions of women there. So Mrs Irani should go into the details of what work they have done and exactly what they are doing before she says anything," the Gandhi scion was quoted as saying in Jammu.