HAVE YOU BOUGHT A LAND WHICH IS A GRANT LAND?
DO YOU KNOW WHAT IS A GRANT?
MANY DEVELOPERS AND HIGH PROFILE FRAUDS HAVE GOT SUCH FAKE RECORDS AND GOT THE DC CONVERSION ORDERS AND IN SOME CASES OBTAINED THE LAYOUT APPROVALS AND HAVE SOLD IT. THIS WILL COME TO LIGHT, ONCE, IF IT IS INVESTIGATED BY THE COD. NOW THE BALL IS IN THE HIGH COURT OF KARNATKA AND THE LOKA AYUKTA.
EXCERPTS FROM A NEWS REPORT:
Mr.V Balasubramanian, A No Nonsense and an upright I.A.S Officer and The Chairman of Task Force for Recovery of Public Land and its Protection dropped a bombshell by alleging that the chief minister’s Principal Secretary I S N Prasad in a letter dated November 19, 2010 had directed Chikkamagalur Deputy Commissioner that no “precipitative action” should be taken against any forest land encroachments. The letter stated that the order had been issued as per the directions from the chief minister.
He further said that “This implies that no action should be taken against encroachers. The officials in the district have taken shelter under the order and have not taken any action to remove encroachments. It is only courts that have powers to issue stay orders like this and not the Chief Minister’s office,” and said the government had been till recently directing the Special Deputy Commissioner of Bangalore Urban district to issue certified copies of Official Memorandum (OM) of land grants to certain people flouting all rules. Most of the cases of bogus OMs are in Jala hobli of Bangalore north additional taluk, close to Bangalore international airport. “This is the mother of all scams. About 11,800 such files (of land grants), covering 25,000 acres of land worth about Rs 25,000 crores, have been found,” he stated.
Many such illegal grants in contravention to the Acts had been issued in Bidarahally hobli, Banglaore.
The 20-month tenure of the Task Force, which was set up in September 2009, came to an end on Monday. Headed by retired IAS officer Balasubramanian, the Task Force has submitted a 300-page report on government land encroachments titled, “Greed and Connivance”. The report mentions the controversial order by the chief minister’s office. The Task Force has identified 12 lakh acres of government land encroachments in the State.
Chikkamagalur district has highest number of forest land encroachments in the State. About 35,000 acres of forest land has been encroached, mainly by coffee planters. Even forest land coming under Tiger reserve has been encroached.
Though the apex court had ordered that forest offence cases should be filed against 7,846 encroachers, orders in this regard have been issued in only 1,193 cases. None of the encroachment cases has been so far removed by the government, he said. The Task Force has recommended to the government to order a CID probe into the issue as the existing revenue officers will not be able to make satisfactory enquiry into these large number of cases, he said.
It is said that several private companies had grabbed valuable government land in Bangalore in the name of setting up IT and BT parks. Some of the properties had been bought by leading developers and high profile businessmen.
If public land is being encroached upon with impunity in Karnataka and little is being done to reclaim it, a large part of the blame rests on the shoulders of bureaucrats and top politicians, including Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, who is abetting the process.
The report submitted on Monday by the Task Force for the Recovery of Public Land and Its Protection, headed by V. Balasubramanian, cites several instances of a nexus between the land mafia, bureaucracy and elected representatives.
In the most shocking instance, a letter was sent from no less than the office of Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa asking the Deputy Commissioner of Chikmagalur district not to take “precipitate action” against encroachers, most of whom are prosperous coffee planters owning hundreds of acres.
The report notes that “government has no powers to stay such ‘stay orders’ and only a court of law can issue such an order”. This letter, notes the report, resulted in officials “taking shelter under the letter” and not removing any encroachment despite reminders.
In Chikmagalur, 35,946 acres of forest land is encroached upon. “Most distressingly, no case of encroachment has been removed,” says the report.
Another instance involves encroachment in Kolar by a former Speaker of the Karnataka Assembly, where 60 acres of forest land was grabbed in Jagalakunte forest. Though an inspection was to be conducted by forest and revenue officials “on the days fixed for joint inspection, the minions of the encroacher did not allow the team to enter the area,” notes the report, and it was subsequently done with police protection.
After several bureaucratic hurdles, the case is now in the court.
The report cites several instances of encroached land being regularised by the bureaucracy, throwing all norms to the wind on verification of records.
In one instance in Holenarasipur in Hassan district, the regularisation committee, headed by non-officials, passed recommendations for regularisation even when there was no application, without the consent of the tahsildar, in some instances even forging his signature.
Regularisation is particularly big business in areas close to the Bengaluru International Airport, which has seen a real estate boom. The areas include Jala Hobli and Bidarahally Hobli.
The modus operandi for many such illegal regularisations is creation of records by officials under the guise of rebuilding “missing records” on land grants.
The report says: “What is missing is the entry relating to the claimant because no such grant was made.”
The task force has come across a large number of cases of the Special Deputy Commissioner passing orders conferring titles to claimants violating all norms on verifying original documents. He gave land to the tune of 1,042 acres in 428 cases without any verification. This case is now pending before the High Court and the Special Deputy Commissioner is under suspension.
- Report cites several instances of encroached land being regularised by bureaucracy
- In some instances, the tahsildar’s signature was forged
Allottees make huge profit by selling the land meant for IT, BT parks in and around Bangalore
The Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB), it appears, has turned out to be a paradise for land grabbers.
As per the report of the Task Force for Protection of Government Land submitted to the Government on Monday, hundreds of acres of valuable government land in and around Bangalore have been gobbled up on the pretext of setting up IT and BT parks and industries.
For instance, Task Force Chairman V Balasubramanian said, Joy Ice Creams got 3.23 acres land at Pattandur Agrahara in Bangalore East taluk for establishing a software technology park. The land was allotted to the company at 50 per cent of the market value (Rs 4.34 crore).
(THE BUILDERS TRIED TO OBTAIN PERMISSION FOR A RESIDENTIAL COMPLEX AT THE AFORESAID PROPERTY)
The KIADB, which was supposed to give lease-cum-sale deed, executed the sale deed in favour of the company in July 2006 without mentioning any condition. Instead of setting up the park, the company sold the property to Prestige Properties Group for Rs 6.97 crore within one month. Though directions were issued to take the land back, KIADB has not taken any action so far, he alleged.
In another instance, the Chairman said, one O G Rajulu claimed to have got 40 acres of land in Ramagondanahalli village near BIA from the government in 1966 for setting up a chicory plant. Instead of the chicory plant, luxury bungalows have come up on the land. Though the matter was brought to the notice of BDA and KIADB, no action was taken. The land is worth over Rs 400 crore, he added.
(LAUGHING WATERS) NOTICES HAD BEEN ISSUED BY THE THASILDAR, BANGALORE EAST TALUK, BANGALORE DIRECTING THE ENCORACHERS AND ILLEGAL OCCUPANTS TO EVICT THE PROPERTY
Balasubramanian, a retired IAS officer, also alleged that Prestige Group has encroached upon 6.5 acres of land at Karahalli near Devanahalli and built luxury villas. “Rampant and glaring irregularities have been found with respect to KIADB lands in Bangalore. One of the main reasons is that the High Level Clearance Committee headed by the Chief Minister, which clears investment proposals worth Rs 50 crore, gives approval without verifying the authenticity of project proposals,” he stated.
Bogus land owners
The Task Force has unearthed what it calls “mother of all scams” in Jala hobli of Bangalore North additional taluk, where hundreds of people have obtained bogus ownership records. The KIADB has, in turn, acquired a major portion of the land paying hefty compensation. The Board has been paying up to Rs 80 lakh per acre as compensation in Jala hobli.
Balasubramanian, who is a retired IAS officer and who had served as the Advisor to the Joint Legislature Committee on government land encroachment in Bangalore Urban district, said a majority of the 11,800 files related to land grants in Bangalore Urban district pertain to bogus ownership.
He said when Bangalore district was bifurcated into Bangalore Urban and Rural districts in 1984, about 34,000 files related to Bangalore Urban district had remained with the Bangalore Rural district office.
Of these, about 11,800 files related to land grants and they were recently handed over to Urban district. During this period, bogus land grant documents were inserted in these files after destroying the original records.
“In the last few months, a large number of people filed applications seeking certified copies of Office Memorandum (OM) of land grant. The Special Deputy Commissioner suspected foul play and informed the Task Force. When the Task Force verified the land grant files, it was found that OMs were issued flouting all rules,” he explained.
It appears these Certified Grant Certificates on which the DC Conversions are issued and layout approvals are made, are illegal and will be confiscated by the Government. The buyers of such properties will loose their properties.