Claims compensation of Rs. 1.4 croreby submitting forged land papers

A woman has managed to take the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) for a ride by claiming compensation of Rs. 1.4 crore by furnishing forged documents of acquired land that did not belong to her, exposing the chinks in the verification process adopted by the board.

The cheating came to light two years later when KIADB officials received a court order recently with directions to pay the compensation to the original owners. A shocked KIADB has now approached the police to trace the woman for recovering the money and for taking legal action against her.

B. Shivappa, special land acquisition officer, in his complaint to the Ulsoor Gate police said the accused H. Bharati approached the KIADB claiming that four acres of her land in Survey no. 84, 85/2 at Sompura village in Nelamangala taluk had been notified for acquisition. As per the procedure, she submitted all documents related to the property, which showed her to be the sole owner.

Bharati also submitted tax receipts paid to the Revenue Department to claim her ownership and had even given an undertaking to the KIADB that she was ready to return the compensation in case of any legal problem. The KIADB after “due verification process” issued a cheque for Rs 1.41 crore to Bharati in December 2010.

However, KIADB officials received a jolt when an order from the Judicial Magistrate First Class court at Nelamangala was served on them directing payment of compensation to the original owners of land.

Officials swung into action, verified the records and learnt that the land that had been acquired by KIADB through Bharati was under litigation since 2009. Further verification found that Bharati had produced forged land records to claim ownership and receive the compensation, Mr. Shivappa said in his complaint.

Records not verified

According to sources, KIADB officials had failed to perform their basic duty of verifying the records before disbursing the compensation. “The officials should have cross verified the land records with Revenue officials of the area and the village panchayat to avoid being cheated,” they said.

As per the requirement, the applicant should produce a tax receipt of the land duly signed from the jurisdictional tahsildar’s office, which clearly indicates the ownership status of the land. If a simple verification had been carried out from the tahsildar’s office, the fraud could have easily been detected in the initial stages itself, according to the sources.

The police who are investigating the case suspect the involvement of Revenue and officials at the KIADB office. “We are investigating this angle, while efforts are on to trace Bharati,” a police officer said.

This is not the first time the KIADB has been duped.

In July 2011, a group of 10 conmen hoodwinked KIADB officials by claiming compensation of Rs 14 crore for a piece of land on Mysore Road near Gali Anjaneya Temple, which was notified for acquisition for metro work, by submitting forged documents.

The officials, who later went to the site to take possession of the land, had been stopped by the original owner who filed a case of trespass against KIADB officials.

That they had been conned was known only when KIADB officials verified the records. Though the Upparpet police have taken up a case in this regard, the police have not made any progress.