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Madras HC expresses shock over govt land grab case involving DMK MP TRVS Ramesh and filmmaker Thangar Bachchan, orders probe

The court was shocked upon learning that the public land was unlawfully designated as patta land and granted to the family members of the DMK leader and the film director who have built a cashew nut business along with an opulent edifice on the government property.

The Madras High Court has issued an order for a comprehensive probe into a contentious land acquisition matter involving 186 acres of public property located in Silampanathanpettai in Tamil Nadu’s Cuddalore district. T. R. V. S. Ramesh, a member of parliament for the DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam), is accused of transferring land titles to associates of renowned filmmaker Thangar Bachchan.

The court was shocked upon learning that the public land was unlawfully designated as patta land and granted to the family members of the DMK leader and the film director who have built a cashew nut business along with an opulent edifice on the government property.  

Justice SM Subramaniam passed the interim orders on 26 September and proclaimed, “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.”

The judge ruled that the concerned revenue divisional officer was accountable for turning government-owned ‘tharisu land’ (land left without cultivation) and ‘waterbody’ into patta land illegally and warned that public employees who act as party servants risk being fired and forced to find new employment. The Commissionerate of Land Administration (CLA) was appointed by the judge as a court-appointed officer to investigate, submit a report to the court and take appropriate action.

Justice SM Subramanian strongly voiced his opinions throughout the proceedings. He highlighted that public service should come before political connections for government employees, especially the Revenue Tax Officer (RTO) whose salaries are reimbursed by taxpayers. He emphasised the responsibility of public workers to serve the people diligently and impartially.

The issue took an alarming turn when it emerged that the government property had been registered in the names of T. R. V. S. Ramesh and the family of Thangar Bachchan reportedly without the necessary paperwork. The Cuddalore Revenue Commissioner was called to appear in court by the justice after Panchayat Chairman Devayanai complained about these violations.

Government lands, according to the petitioners, were recorded in the names of the accused. They asserted that the land was used for cashew farming without permission. The government, on the other hand, refuted the accusations and alleged that the petitioner was referring to a separate plot of land.

The judge expressed alarm about the nature of the charges, particularly the transformation of public lands and waterbodies into registered properties. He stated that the engagement of government representatives was implied for such practices to commence. He warned all government workers that legal action would be taken if corruption transpired within their ranks.

The petitioner’s request to have the registrations cancelled was initially denied by the Cuddalore Revenue Commissioner. Dissatisfied with the response, the court sought a thorough investigation into the case and the delivery of an extensive report to the Land Commissioner within three months.

The court wanted to make sure that the property acquisition scam was fairly and effectively looked into so the next hearing in the case is set for 22 January of the next year. The Madras High Court has made it clear that it would not stand for any illegal actions that infringe on the rights of communities with a high vulnerability and the misappropriation of public funds.

The decision was reached in response to a writ case brought by the president of the Silambanathanpettai village panchayat in the Cuddalore district which accused officials of forging documents and converting government-owned ‘tharisu’ (dry) land and waterbodies into patta land that was then given to the families of the Cuddalore MP and the film director.

Notably, the politician who is designated as the main accused in the case is also charged with murder. He was arrested on suspicion of killing a worker at a cashew unit in Panruti town.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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