Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has declined to quash the proceedings in the court of the Judicial Magistrate No.11, Poonamallee, in which a then Village Administrative Officer (VAO) was arraigned as one of the three accused in a case for offences including conspiracy and forgery.

Dismissing a petition by A.R. Sridharan, who was working as VAO, Adambakkam, a Division Bench consisting of Justices Prabha Sridevan and M. Sathyanarayanan said prima facie it was of the view that the accusation made against the petitioner was not without basis or substance. It said it did not find any merit in the petition.

V.A.K. Engineering Company Private Limited, Alandur, had sent a representation to the Revenue Minister that Sridharan had tried to grab 3.80 acres of its vacant land by manipulating and fabricating revenue records to show that he was in possession and enjoyment of the lands. Following an enquiry by the P.A. (LA) to the District Collector, Kancheepuram, the district head had forwarded the same to the government, which in turn directed the CB CID to probe it. The CB CID filed a final report which was taken on file by the Judicial Magistrate-II, Poonamallee.

The petitioner submitted that the land was originally Inam land and fell within the scope of the Tamil Nadu Minor Inams (Abolition and Conversion into Ryotwari) Act. The Assistant Settlement Officer had made an enquiry and granted ‘patta’ to him.

The Bench said the petitioner was always at liberty to produce the documents which supported his defence at the time of trial.