A single judge’s order directing the CBI to probe the sale of a private land in Tiruchy district in 1997 and to take criminal action against those involved, including the then Collector Rajiv Ranjan, was stayed by a division bench of the Madras High Court on Monday.
The first bench comprising Acting Chief Justice RK Agrawal and Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar granted the injunction while passing interim orders on a writ appeal from the present Tiruchy Collector and others on Monday.
While allowing a writ petition from S Mohamed Sheriff, Justice A Arumughaswamy on April 18 had directed the Chief Secretary to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Rajiv Ranjan for the alleged fraudulent transaction of the land, measuring 3.20.0 hectares in Sooriyur village. The single judge bench also asked the Chief Secretary to act against all the officials involved, including the then Tahsildar after fixing their responsibilities. “The present District Collector, Tiruchy, should initiate criminal proceedings against the vendor and purchaser of the land by preferring a written complaint to the CBI,” the court had ordered.
The CBI was asked to investigate thoroughly about the private sale and the person involved in the transaction either in his official or personal capacity.
After ascertaining the loss, the government should initiate necessary proceedings to recover the same from the officials concerned, which would run into several crores of rupees now, the judge had added.
Aggrieved, the Collector, District Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare Officer, Special Tahsildar (Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare) and Tahsildar moved the present writ appeal, which soughtto quash the order of the single judge.