Land Grab Case: HC Raps Government for 'Inaction' - The New Indian Express

Land Grab Case: HC Raps Government for 'Inaction'

Published: 17th December 2013 09:22 AM

Last Updated: 17th December 2013 09:23 AM

Coming down heavily on the state government over the delay in taking action against erring officials of the Revenue Department, the Kerala High Court on Monday held that the officials who have any involvement in the Kadakampally land grab case should not be allowed to remain in their posts.

The case gained attention on account of the alleged involvement of Salim Raj, former gunman of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.

“You should have shown commitment to take action against the erring officials. Large-scale fraudulent activities have taken place in the Kadakampally land grab case,” the court observed.

Justice Harul ul-Rasheed made the observation while considering the two petitions seeking CBI probe into the land grab cases in which Salim Raj was allegedly involved.

When the case came up for hearing, Special Government Pleader Tom K Thomas submitted before the court that the state has initiated action against five Revenue officials. He further submitted that they are waiting for the Vigilance report in the case so that further action can be taken against other officials. Two Revenue officials - Kanayannoor Additional Tahsildar Krishnakumari and Village Officer Shibu Kumar - have been placed under suspension in the controversial Thrikkakara land grab case. Disciplinary action will also be initiated against Deputy Collector (LR) Basheer, Junior Superintendent, Ernakulam Collectorate, Jayasree and former Assistant Commissioner in the Land Revenue Commissionerate, Prasanna Kumar, after a departmental inquiry.

The decision was based on the report of former Revenue Secretary G Kamala Vardhana Rao indicating connivance of Revenue officials in creating false documents.

The court however observed that the state can verify the records and can find out the officials who worked in the department during the period.

“It is the state’s duty to see that the officials are not allowed to continue in their office. The state should find out who all are involved. The government need not wait for the Vigilance report to take action against the officials since the Principal Secretary has already filed a comprehensive report,” the court said.

The court asked why the state was showing reluctance in taking action against these persons.

The case was posted to Thursday, for final hearing on the plea for CBI investigation.

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