Madras High Court shocked over 186-acre government land given to MP’s relatives, film director
The order was passed on a writ petition filed by the president of Silambanathanpettai village panchayat in Cuddalore district alleging fabrication of documents and conversion of government land.
CHENNAI: Madras High Court has expressed shock over the illegal classification of 186.96 acres of government land as patta land and transferring it to relatives of a member of parliament and a film director who have established a cashew nut factory and a luxury structure on the land.
“The nature of allegations and the magnitude of the government land converted as patta lands, conversion of waterbody as patta land are a shocking revelation,” observed Justice SM Subramaniam while passing interim orders on Tuesday.
Holding the revenue divisional officer concerned responsible for the illegality of converting government ‘tharisu land’ and ‘waterbody’ into patta land, the judge said, “If public servants act as party servants, they are liable to be sacked and work elsewhere.” Justice Subramaniam appointed the Commissionerate of Land Administration (CLA) as a court-appointed officer to probe and report to the court and initiate appropriate action.
The order was passed on a writ petition filed by the president of Silambanathanpettai village panchayat in Cuddalore district alleging fabrication of documents and conversion of government ‘tharisu’ (dry) land and waterbody into patta land and given to the relatives of the MP and the film director.
BJP MLAs directed to return temple land
In another order, Justice Subramaniam directed a father-son duo serving as MLAs — John Kumar and Richards John Kumar — in Puducherry to return the temple land they had purchased, though claimed unknowingly.
“Being public property, it is to be protected by the MLAs and thus this court is of the considered opinion that in all fairness and with commitments, the two sitting MLAs should hand over vacant possession of the subject land immediately to establish their fairness and bona fide,” he ordered recently.
Justice Subramaniam also directed the MLAs to subject themselves to criminal investigation undertaken by the Superintendent of Police, CBCID (SIT), Pondicherry. The order was passed on a petition filed by Kamachi Amman Devasthanam accusing certain government officials and politicians of collusion to usurp the land belonging to the temple. It also alleged that the top officials are not taking any action because of the influence of politicians. However, counsel for the MLAs told the court they were innocent purchasers unaware of the fraud in the land sale and were ready to hand it back to the temple if it established its rights.