Kerala HC says probe against 19 revenue officials is needed

The court suo motu impleaded CBI in the case and issued notice to the agency.
Image used for representational purposes.
Image used for representational purposes.Photo | Express illustrations

KOCHI : The Kerala High Court on Tuesday held that an investigation needs to be ordered against 19 revenue officials whose names were included in the report on land encroachment in Munnar, prepared by Rajan Madhekar, the former ADGP (Intelligence).

In 2004, Madhekar reported that about 3,000 forged title deeds were issued by officials and that the register containing details of the original titles and tax collections had been destroyed by certain revenue officials.

The court suo motu impleaded CBI in the case and issued notice to the agency.

A division bench comprising Justice A Muhamed Mustaque and Justice S Manu also issued notice to the Advocate General as well as the State Prosecutor to show cause why an investigation should not be entrusted with CBI for investigating illegal issuance of patta/forged patta by government officials.

When the petition filed by Paristhithi Samrakshana Samithi of Idukki sought to take immediate actions based on the recommendations of Rajan Madhekar, the government pleader stated that no actions were initiated against 19 officials referred to in the report.

“Taking note of the seriousness of their action and in the light of the report of Rajan K Madhekar, Additional Director General of Police (Intelligence) dated April 1, 2004, we are of the view that an investigation needs to be ordered against these officials, as they were parties to forged pattas issued to large number of persons in Idukki district.”

HC stays single judge’s order bringing down GST for Malabar Parota

A division bench of the Kerala High Court on Tuesday stayed for two months the order of a single judge bench, which stated that a packet of two half-cooked parota products manufactured by Modern Food Enterprises Pvt Ltd is exigible at 5% Goods and Services Tax (GST).

The single judge had issued the order on a petition moved by the management of Modern Food, challenging an order of the Kerala Authority for Advanced Ruling (AAR), which held that the ‘Classic Malabar Parota’ and ‘Whole Wheat Malabar Parota’ of Modern Food are eligible for 18% GST. The AAR had held that the items are neither bakery products nor ready for human consumption, as they need to be heated or further processed. This, it ruled, does not make them exempt from the 18% bracket, which is applicable only for bread products, as covered under the Harmonised System of Nomenclature (HSN) Code, 1905.

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