Blow for Eatala Rajender as HC refuses to stay setting up of panel to probe 'encroachment'
The IAS officers committee was constituted to probe allegations that the former minister and others had encroached temple lands in Devarayamjal to an extent of 1,521 acres valued at Rs 1,000 crore
HYDERABAD: In what is being seen as a setback to former minister Eatala Rajender, the Telangana High Court has refused to stay the implementation of the GO by which the state government had constituted a four-member committee of IAS officers to probe the allegation of encroachment of lands of Sri Sitarama Swamy temple at Devarayamjal in Shameerpet Mandal on the outskirts of Hyderabad.
The IAS officers committee was constituted to probe allegations that the former minister and a few others had encroached the temple lands in Devarayamjal to an extent of 1,521 acres valued at Rs 1,000 crore. The committee is being headed by Panchayat Raj secretary M Raghunandan Rao.
The high court on Thursday, during a hearing on a petition filed by Sada Kesava Reddy, refused to stay the GO No: 1014 and maintained that the government had the freedom to initiate inquiry into the allegations.
The court wanted to know what was wrong if the government does a survey to identify the lands that belonged to the Devarayamjal temple. The court wondered how could the petitioner seek staying of the GO and whether he wanted encroachment of the temple lands should continue.
The court held that it is the responsibility of the committee to make a survey and submit the report to the government. The court, however, agreed with the petitioners that before conducting the survey, the government should issue notices to those who are in possession of the lands in question.
The court directed the petitioners to cooperate with the inquiry officers by submitting whatever documents they have in support of their claims. The court declared that if the petitioners do not cooperate with the inquiry committee, the government was free to take action against them.