VAO in soup for temple land transfer

Published: 27th August 2016 04:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th August 2016 04:52 AM   |  A+A-

MADURAI: Collector N Veera Raghava Rao suspended a Village Administrative Officer (VAO) and issued a charge memo to Madurai north tahsildar as they were allegedly involved in transferring lands of 1.82 acres belonging to Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, to private persons.

Pattas of the lands which were located in BB Kulam in the city could be worth about `55 crore. These pattas were said to be transferred either without conducting proper enquiry or with knowledge of the higher officials, said sources.

After the State Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Board lodged a complaint with the district administration, action was taken against BB Kulam VAO Arasan, who was then working at Iluppaikudi, and tahsildar MK Anbazhagan, who was holding the same jurisdiction.

According to sources, legal heirs of one late Vellaichamy from Pilaviduthi in Pudukottai petitioned tahsildar Anbazhagan claiming that the 1.82-acre land belonged to them as per records available in 1912, and demanded transfer of the lands to their names. Though such cases should be referred to the District Revenue Officer, Anbazhagan and Arasan failed to do so. But they transferred the lands to Rajendran, one of Vellaichamy’s  sons, and other nine persons.

Based on the complaint given by the HR&CE, the Collector ordered Revenue Divisional Officer G Senthilkumari to conduct an enquiry, which revealed that the lands were transferred even on non-availability of the required documents. Collector suspended Arasan and issued a charge memo to Anbazhagan under section 17(iii)(b) of he Tamil Nadu Civil Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules.

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