The Madras High Court ordered the concerned authorities to launch an investigation and mete out disciplinary actions against the government officials who were involved in a land-grabbing scheme. The Court’s directive came after a PIL was filed against 63 individuals and the officials who had ‘erroneously’ furnished them with the pattas for 105 acres of state land in the Kancheepuram District.
The PIL petition came from advocate L Praveen Kumar, who alleged that the land of late K A Sabapathy Mudaliar had been taken over illegally by 63 individuals. He stated that the whole affair was filled with irregularities and the act had been done in collusion with certain state officials.
Accepting the petition, the bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Bannerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy, said that it was highly improbable that the pattas were drawn up erroneously but innocently issued to the respective individuals. “An adverse inference has to be drawn against the persons who may have been involved and immediate disciplinary proceedings should be commenced to bring the perpetrators to book,” it added.
Admitting the ludicrousness of the whole affair, the Bench said, “It is completely unacceptable that patta for over 105 acre of revenue or government land would be issued by mistake over and over again. The matter should receive the attention of the highest authorities, so that immediate appropriate measures can be taken and an example be made out of the delinquent officers.”
The PIL also called for stricter penalties and penal provisions as well as charging the offenders who are involved in land-grabbing acts regardless of whether it is state or private land.
In response to the PIL, the State Government Pleader told the Court that steps were being taken to invalidate all of the land deeds that might have been issued erroneously to the individuals.