CHENNAI: A software engineer and an anti-corruption activist has issued a legal notice to the Tiruttani sub-registrar’s office seeking the return of the bribe money he was forced to pay to register his family’s property.
Senthil Kumar Padmanabhan, the software engineer, claims he was forced to take this route after repeated grievance petitions, calls and emails fell on deaf ears.
In August 2015, Senthil along with his family went to register two properties, one in Tiruttani and the other in Perambakkam jurisdiction. Despite the fact that the two properties can be registered in the same registrar’s office, officials told Senthil that he would have to pay more money to register two properties.
Normally, applicants are required to pay Rs 2,000 to secure all documents. Senthil, however, claims that the officials demanded Rs 10,000 from his family.
“I have never paid a bribe for anything in my life but this issue involved my family as well and my mother kept saying it was best to just pay the money, so I gave in,” Senthil told Express.
Despite the bribe the registration ended up being delayed
According to the Tamil Nadu Registration Department rules, a normal registration is not supposed to take more than a couple of hours and a registration that requires site inspection is not supposed to take more than 15 days.
Senthil claimed that his calls always went unanswered and all his attempts to meet with the registrar also turned futile.
After finally receiving the registration seven months later, Senthil decided to send a grievance petition to the registrar demanding that the bribe money be returned to him.
“As per the Government Order that I received from the Personnel and Administrative Reforms Department detailing the procedures for grievance petitions, all grievance petitions sent either by email or offline should be addressed within 30 days of receipt but I am yet to receive a response,” claimed Senthil.
For this reason, he says, he decided to get a legal notice.
“I’m ready to face the consequences of my act including going to prison, but the registrar has refused to address my petition, which was why I decided to get a legal notice. If there is no reaction to that as well, I’m planning to file a petition in court,” Senthil added.
All efforts made by Express to get the comments of the sub registrar over phone proved to be unsuccessful.