The Vigilance Department probing the alleged forgery of litho maps of Harrisons Malayalam Ltd estates has found that the documents and survey maps with the company are fabricated and have been made outside the country, especially England. The Vigilance Department which probed the veracity of the document (number 1600/1923) registered at the Kollam Principal registration office found them to be fabricated. The document produced for 26,000 acres of land registered in 1923 was found to have been prepared in high quality paper with John Dickinson and company watermark, sources said, adding that such a paper was not used for writing documents at that time. Moreover, the conch insignia of the Travancore royal family embossed on the paper did not tally with the insignia of that time, highly-placed officials said.
“The documents at that time were verified and it was found that the insignia had some differences. When the insignia embossed on the HML documents was diamond shaped, the insignia on other documents at that time was egg shaped,’’ they said.
The stamp papers valued at Rs 43,000 used for the registration purpose, were also found to be fake. As per stamp regulation rules at that time, high value stamp paper should be bought directly from the Travancore Government Secretariat, the officials noted. In the document produced by the HML for its estates in Kollam, Idukki, Pathanamthitta and Kottayam districts, the measurement was found in hectares. However, the calculation in hectares was only introduced in the state in 1966.
The Kollam registrar is learnt to have told Vigilance officials that the original documents in Malayalam did not have a translated version in English. ‘’The registrar has given a statement to the Vigilance that though English translation was in vogue at that time, this particular document (1600/1923) did not have any English translation,’’ the officials said.
They also stated that an attestation in English will be given at the end of all English documents. The attestation on the HML document was found to be in Malayalam, which was also suspicious, the officials said. However, HML vice-president (legal) V Venugopal said that the documents with the company were original. ‘’During that time a document in English was registered only if it had a Malayalam translation. And the registrar office should have to keep both English and Malayalam documents. But the registrar office has only a Malayalam document. It is for the registrar office to say what happened to the English version,’’ he said, adding that all the alleged contentions are groundless.
The investigating officials also found that the Registrar’s signature, which was mandatory for all pages as per the registration rule, was only found on alternate pages.
The registrar’s signature is usually seen on the back blank page of the documents but in the HML documents, the signature is found on the facing page, the sources said. It has also come to the notice that the company was in the alleged possession of lands that the government had bought through ponnum vila (premium price) during the time of state reorganisation.