The MLC has urged the Chief Minister to order a probe into the "land scam" in Palya hobli of Kollegal taluk in Chamarajanagar district, involving more than 15,000 acres that was regularised.

G. Madhusudan (Go. Madhusudan), MLC, has urged Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to order a CBI probe into the “land scam” in Palya hobli of Kollegal taluk in Chamarajanagar district, involving more than 15,000 acres that was regularised by a former Deputy Commissioner in favour of the occupants.

Mr. Madhusudan released details of the alleged scam at a press conference here on Saturday.

The land in Sattegala Inam village under survey number 1 and Shivanasamudra lands were ‘forest paramabok’ under survey number 174.

When the Assistant Commissioner heard the case there were only four petitioners, but when the Deputy Commissioner heard it there were more than 10, he said.

Mr. Madhusudan alleged that the Deputy Commissioner had annulled the order of the Assistant Commissioner (who had rejected the claims of the occupants of the two lands earlier), and, for certain reasons, chose to regularise them.

He appealed to Mr. Siddaramaiah to withdraw the Deputy Commissioner’s order, which also amounted to contempt of the High Court order. The court had asked the official just to verify whether the lands belonged to the Forest Department.

‘Tourism spots’

The land in contention was a major tourism spot in the State where thousands of people gathered every year. There was an immediate need to prevent the Gaganachukki and Bharachukki falls from becoming private assets, Mr. Madhusudan said. He alleged that there was a “deep conspiracy” as the Deputy Commissioner must have come under pressure from certain political quarters or by a real estate lobby.

Mr. Madhusudan said that the decision of the Assistant Commissioner under the Karnataka Land Reforms Act was final, which could be questioned only at the KAT or High Court, not by the Deputy Commissioner (District Magistrate’s court).

The move of the Deputy Commissioner to entertain the petition was a violation of the law, he noted.

The High Court had asked the Deputy Commissioner to ascertain whether the said lands were forest lands or not, following the argument of the government advocate and the decision of the Assistant Commissioner that they were indeed forest lands.

Afterwards, the official should have issued notice to all concerned, including forest officials, to inquire into the issue. But arriving at a decision to regularise the land spoke of the malafide intention of the official, Mr. Madhusudan stated.

‘Where are the records’

Making another observation, Mr. Madhusudan stated that there were no records to prove from whom the petitioners had bought lands, for what amount and whether they were allowed to purchase lands under the Land Reforms Act. Records pertaining to the deals were not available in the office of the Sub-Registrar. The Deputy Commissioner’s order did not contain any detail concerning the above.

One of the petitioners was Hirasing Pal Negi, brother of former Karnataka Additional Director-General of Police D.P. Negi, who had fenced about 100 acres.

The Assistant Commissioner had stated in his report that as per the Karnataka Certain Inams Abolition Act of 1977, the lands under survey number 1 and 174, which were Inam lands in the past, stands cancelled to the individuals to which they were granted. They would become government lands after the abolition of the Act.

The Deputy Commissioner had ignored this order of the official. The lands were also home to many endangered species, he said.

The former Deputy Commissioner must be placed under suspension, inquiry ordered and decision of the Assistant Commissioner upheld, he demanded.

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