HYDERABAD: In a significant verdict, the High Court has directed TS government to initiate disciplinary action against IAS officers Naveen Mittal (MAUD secretary at present) and V Durga Das, former collector and joint collector respectively of Hyderabad district; and VV Venkat Reddy, former special tahasildar; and P Madhusudhan Reddy, senior draftsman; and one P Babu Rao for issuing a no- objection certificate for a property which is under dispute.
Justice MS Ramachandra Rao, while allowing a petition filed by Shanti Agarwal, a resident of Musheerabad, observed, “In my opinion, the members of the NOC committee, clearly did not act in a bona fide manner and seemed to believe that they had no responsibility to check even the genuineness of the documents produced before them by the applicant for NOC.”
The petitioner claimed that she had purchased 5,262 square yards at Nanal Nagar in Gudimalkapur area of the city. It was originally an evacuee property and purchased by one Prem Malhotra in an auction conducted by the managing officer, Regional Settlement Commission, Bombay. Later, the land changed hands and she had purchased it from K Devi and Basanth Devi in 1965.
In 2009 Syed Abdul Rub and two others, claiming that they were land owners, applied for NOC before the NOC committee, which was headed by the collector, to obtain permission from GHMC to construct sheds in the land.
After coming to know of the developments, the petitioner had filed objections before the committee complaining that documents produced by Syed Abdul Rub were fabricated.
After hearing the case and perusing the documents on record, Justice Ramachandra Rao noted that in the counter-affidavit filed by district collector on Nov 19, 2011 it was clearly stated the joint sub-registrar, Hyderabad had addressed a letter to the collector on Sep 3, 2011 stating the documents produced for NOC did not tally with their records.
The conduct of committee members and one of the respondents, P Babu Rao, in the case required to be probed by state chief secretary and disciplinary action needed to be initiated, the judge said.
Declaring the NOCs issued by the committee as null and void, the judge imposed costs directing Naveen Mittal, Durga Das, Venkat Reddy, former special Tahasildar and P Madhusudhan Reddy, senior draftsman, to pay Rs 25,000 jointly to the petitioner. Further, the judge directed Syed Abdul Rub and two others to pay Rs 25,000 as costs jointly to the petitioner.
The judge ordered that the chief secretary and the revenue secretary shall initiate prosecution of Abdul and two others. He directed the chief commissioner of land administration to forthwith attach the subject property as per the orders passed by the district collector and hold the same under attachment till the dispute between the petitioner and Abdul Rub and others was resolved.
While dismissing a petition filed by Hussain Bee and 11 others challenging the cancellation of NOCs in Nov 2015, Justice Ramachandra Rao directed the petitioners to pay ` 10,000 costs to Shanti Agarwal.