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Revenue officials recommend close scrutiny of land deal

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Public Works Minister T.U. Kuruvilla says he is ready to face any inquiry.
Public Works Minister T.U. Kuruvilla says he is ready to face any inquiry.

Staff Reporter

Involving family members of Public Works Minister

KOTTAYAM: Revenue officials who had conducted a primary investigation into a land deal involving the family members of Public Works Minister T.U. Kuruvilla have come to the conclusion that a close scrutiny could bring out serious inconsistencies in the transaction documents and these have to be verified in detail, informed sources said on Wednesday.

The issue relates to alleged corruption in the land deal involving the sons of Mr. Kuruvilla who had entered into an agreement with a Non-Resident Indian business group for sale of land at Rajakumari village near Chinnkkanal in Idukki district. The business group had alleged that it had paid Rs.6.5 crore as advance for 20.21 hectares (50.52 acres) of land to construct a hotel. The business group is now left with neither the land nor has it received the advance back, they alleged.

Status of land

The inquiry by the revenue officials was in response to a complaint received by Revenue Minister K.P. Rajendran, who had forwarded it to them for investigation. Revenue authorities in Idukki have raised doubts about the status of the land and said that whether at least a part of the land belongs to cardamom reserves or revenue poramboke has to be looked into. The deal has been executed through 19 documentations and only a few people behind the registrations could be identified so far, they said.

However, the most serious finding has been that the register has been found tampered with, they said. The inquiries have also found that the transfer of registry has already been completed, though there had been a directive against it, senior revenue officials said.

Denies charge

PTI writes from Kannur: Mr. Kuruvilla rejected the demand for his resignation saying he had no direct links with the deal.

“There is no question of my resignation from the Cabinet as I am not involved in the fake land purchase deal at Rajakumari village and I am repudiating with contempt the Kerala Congress (Secular) MLA P.C. George’s demand asking me to quit the Cabinet,” Mr. Kuruvilla told reporters.

“The Revenue Department is inquiring into the alleged land purchase deal involving me and my sons after receiving a complaint and I am ready to face any inquiry as the said land deal was done by fulfilling all legal formalities and I am not afraid of any inquiry,” he said.

Mr. Kuruvilla, the lone nominee of the Kerala Congress (J) in the State Cabinet, joined the Ministry following the resignation of his party leader P.J. Joseph a year ago after facing charges of misbehaving with a woman on board a flight.

Meanwhile, the Opposition United Democratic Front and the Bharatiya Janata Party demanded the resignation of Mr. Kuruvilla from the State Cabinet in view of the serious nature of the issue.

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