Sub-registrar suspended ‘for helping’ private firm mortgage 8K acres of Manjolai land

The officer, Santhi was working at the Kallidaikurichi sub-registrar office when she registered a document in favour of the private company to mortgage the land with the private bank.
Image used for representational purpose.
Image used for representational purpose.

TIRUNELVELI: A sub-registrar was recently suspended for allegedly helping a private company illegally mortgage 8,373 acres of land, belonging to the Manjolai tea estates, with a private sector bank for `50 crore in 2015.

The suspended official was identified as Santhi, a sub-registrar from Thoothukudi.

Santhi was working at the Kallidaikurichi sub-registrar office when she registered a document in favour of the private company to mortgage the land with the private bank.

The private company had received 8,373 acres of land on Manjolai Hills on a 99-year lease from the Singampatti zamindar in 1929 and had developed the tea plantation. The land was later nationalised and declared as a reserve forest by the state government in 2018.

As the lease period ends in 2028, the company had sought an extension of the lease period. However, the forest department opposed the extension, and the Supreme Court had ordered the private company to vacate Manjolai Hills by 2028.

Last month, the private company asked its workers to apply for voluntary retirement and the state government instructed the district administration to arrange houses for the workers, to be evicted from the hills, in the plains.

Meanwhile, it came to light that the private company had taken a `50 crore loan by mortgaging the leased land. Santhi, who registered the mortgage document for the private company, was suspended. When contacted by TNIE, Senthamil Selvan, Deputy Inspector General of Registration, Tirunelveli, confirmed the suspension.

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