Land Cases: Kerala High Court Pulls up Government
By Express News Service | Published: 04th December 2013 09:01 AM |
The Kerala High Court on Tuesday asked the state government to inform what steps are being taken by it against the erring Revenue officials, based on Revenue Principal Secretary G Kamalavardhana Rao’s report in the land grab cases involving Salim Raj, former gunman of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. The court also observed that Kamalavardhana Rao, who brought out a comprehensive inquiry report with clear and unambiguous findings, is a very respectable person.
Justice Harul ul-Rasheed cautioned that if the state does not take appropriate action, the court will not hesitate to pass an order based on the findings. The report of the Revenue Principal Secretary stated that the department officials had committed forgery and manipulation in connivance with others. The Revenue records in the two land grab cases were fabricated and new ‘Thandaper’ records were created by the Revenue officials fraudulently with the help of others.
The court observed that a comprehensive report regarding the fraud is in the state’s possession and it was bound to take further action. The court also sought information on the steps taken to correct the forged documents in possession of the Revenue Department.
Appearing for the state, Special Government Pleader Tom K Thomas submitted that the government is studying the report and appropriate action would be taken.
Meanwhile, the Additional Tahsildar, allegedly involved in the case, also approached the court stating that she was not part of the proceedings regarding the land. She submitted that she assumed charge on May 28, 2012. However, the court maintained that the fraud had taken place during that period.
S Sreekumar, counsel for the Additional Tahsildar, submitted that the investigation and the preliminary report in the case is aimed at saving the higher officials in the Revenue Department. The court asked who is the real person responsible for the fraud, but the counsel could not give a satisfactory reply.
The court further pointed out the findings in the report against the Additional Tahsildar.
It stated that both the Village Officer as well as the Additional Tahsildar had misinterpreted the Revenue rules pertaining to the settlement register.
“I strongly see proactive involvement of the Additional Tahsildar in the entire issue. Under what circumstances and ‘pressures’ she acted certainly needs a comprehensive police investigation,” Kamalavardhana Rao’s report stated.