CHENNAI: The three-member team, assigned the task of mapping the land allegedly grabbed by Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court P.D. Dinakaran, began its inquiry on Wednesday by meeting both the Tiruvallur district administration and the judge’s representatives.
The Joint Commissioner (Land Reforms), Villupuram, A. Balasubramani, also met the team and submitted a report that Mr. Justice Dinakaran, his family members and companies owned by them were possessing excess land under the Land Ceiling Act.
“Through mapping, we will reflect what is on the ground that will help the authorities take a decision. We are not taking any decision,” Major General R. Sivakumar, who is heading the team, told reporters.
The other two members are Sanjay Kumar, Director, Geospatial Data Centre, Survey of India, Lucknow, and R. Dharmaraj, Additional Survey General of India. On the terms of reference of the team, he said it was only mapping.
“There are many aspects to the issue. But we are concerned only with mapping of the area,” he stressed, adding that it would take around one-and-a-half months to complete the work.
Mr. Sivakumar said the team would certainly visit Kaverirajapuram in Tiruvallur district, where the alleged land-grabbing had taken place. On Wednesday, the team first met Mr. Justice Dinakaran’s wife, Vinodhini Dinakaran, his daughter and 16 others.
Separately, the team met the district administration represented by Collector V. Palanikumar, Assistant Director of Survey Venkatachalam, Tiruttani tahsildar R. Vijayaraghuvulu, Village Administration Officer Govindasamy.
Asked about the alleged encroachments and land-grabbing, Mr. Sivakumar said it was too premature to say anything without understanding the issue now.
“You know better than us,” he said, adding that there were two sides to the story.
Explaining that the Survey of India — a 250-year-old organisation that is probably the oldest in the world — would adopt different methodology, standards and contemporary technology such as Global Positioning System (GPS) for mapping, Mr. Sivakumar said his team was under no pressure from the government or anyone else.
“We are known for our impartiality. That is why we have been brought here,” he said, pointing out that throughout his service he was never involved in this kind of mapping.
“We also have our way of classifying the land. National mapping is different from mapping in a village,” he further said.
Mr. Sivakumar refused to be drawn into the issues, including the impeachment motion moved against Mr. Dinakaran in the Rajya Sabha and Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily’s statement that no further inquiry into the issue was required.
“I cannot make any comments. I am an official in the lower rung of the administration. I have been directed by the government to do the mapping. I will stop the work if I am asked by the government,” he said.