CHENNAI: The National Commission for Scheduled Castes on Tuesday held a hearing here in connection with an allegation that the premises housing DMK Tamil daily 'Murasoli' here was a Panchami category land that was assigned to the Scheduled Caste people.
State Chief Secretary (CS) K Shanmugam, who was summoned by the panel last week, appeared before it, while the DMK was represented by its Organisation Secretary and Rajya Sabha MP RS Bharathi.
The NCSC had earlier summoned Managing Director of Murasoli Trust Udhayanidhi Stalin to appear before it.
The panel had organised the hearing following a representation from state BJP secretary R Srinivasan in the matter seeking appropriate action and the petitioner was also asked by the panel to be present.
Speaking to reporters after the hearing, Bharathi, also one of the trustees, said both the Chief Secretary and Srinivasan sought more time.
"Srinivasan, who filed the complaint, sought more time. He did not file any documents," he said, adding, the burden of proof lies on the complainant.
However, the DMK side came with "proof" in this matter, he added.
He also questioned whether the NCSC can hold such a hearing since it was a "quasi-judicial body."
Saying the DMK had all proof in this matter, he indicated the party would file defamation case against both the BJP functionary as well as PMK founder S Ramadoss, who had also highlighted the issue.
The land row's genesis can be traced to an allegation by PMK that a government students hostel for the SCs had functioned at the same location where 'Murasoli' came up later.
It was alleged that this piece of land originally came under the Panchami classification, which was denied by the DMK.
Over a hundred years ago, the British India government had allotted lands (Panchami land) to Scheduled Caste people to help improve their lot.
Seeking to rebut the allegation, DMK chief M K Stalin had released a 'patta' for the Murasoli land and Ramadoss had sought the original parent documents and the accusation and counter-accusation continued.