The Vigilance Department, which had unearthed documents and survey maps with plantation major Harrisons Malayalam Ltd (HML) as fabricated, has taken a lead in initiating criminal cases against those involved in forging the documents, including the company and revenue officials.
“We have decided to take a criminal case on the basis of the report filed by the investigating official,” Vigilance Director Mahesh Kumar Singla told Express.
Stating that case will be filed in two days, he said that once the case was registered, a detailed inquiry into the whole aspects of the report would be conducted.
In the Vigilance report submitted by DySP Nandanam Pillai, it is learnt that he had recommended registering cases against company officials and the registrars involved in the alleged forgery of document 1600/1923. The report is understood to have recommended further investigation into the role of the revenue officials and to take appropriate action against them.
Nandanam Pillai, who probed the authenticity of document 1600/1923, which comprised around 26,000 acres of land registered at the Kollam Principal Registration office, found that the documents and survey maps with the company were all fabricated and had been made outside the country, especially England.
They had found that the document registered in 1923 was prepared in high quality paper with John Dickinson and Company water mark, which was not in use then. Moreover, the conch insignia of the Travancore Royal Family embossed in the paper did not tally with the insignia of that time, which was egg shaped. A marked difference between the lithographic maps submitted by the company and the government was also found.
The Vigilance also noted that the stamp papers to the tune of Rs 43,000 used for the registration were also fake.
The Vigilance had also come across lands in the possession of the company that were bought by the government by paying ‘ponnumvila’ as per the Edavagai Rights Acquisition Act, 1955.
Though there used to be English translation for all the original Malayalam documents of that time at the Registrar’s office, the inquiry report points out this particular document did not have any English translation. Also, the registrar’s signature, which was mandatory for all pages as per the registration rule, was found only on alternate pages.