Chikkamagaluru DC orders probe into irregularities at Sringeri taluk office

Following complaints of large scale corruption and irregularities in handling applications seeking grants of land and regularization of house properties in Sringeri, Chikkamagaluru Deputy Commissioner has constituted a committee under the leadership of Assistant Commissioner H.L. Nagaraj to conduct a detailed probe.

The committee has been asked to verify documents pertaining to 671 applications said to have been cleared by tahsildar R. Ambuja, who was recently arrested by Anti-Corruption Bureau police on charges of demanding bribe to regularise a house property.

Besides Mr. Nagaraj, the Assistant Commissioner, the committee includes Deputy Director of Land Records of Chikkamgaluru, Executive Officer of Sringeri Taluk Panchayat, Range Forest Officer of Sringeri and Chief Officer of Sringeri Town Panchayat as members, as per the order issued by Deputy Commissioner K.N. Ramesh on January 12.

Chikkamagaluru ACB sleuths arrested village accountant H. Siddappa and tahsildar R. Ambuja on January 6. Earlier too there were complaints of corruption in the taluk office with regard to processing applications submitted under 94 (B), 94 (A), 94 (C) and 94 CC of the Land Revenue Act. Chikkamagaluru Sub-Division Assistant Commissioner H.L. Nagaraj conducted a preliminary inquiry after visiting the taluk office on January 10.

During his visit, the AC sought records pertaining to the applications cleared by the tahsildar till then. However, the caseworker Prakash conveyed that he had no record with him, prompting the inquiry officer to suspect that the tahsildar maintained separate files, without the knowledge of the concerned caseworker.

Later, the officer visited the taluk panchayat and verified the documents related to housing property regularisation within the limits of nine gram panchayats of the taluk. There he noticed that housing sites located in forest areas deemed forest areas were also violating the rules. There were instances of one family getting more than one housing property regularised.

The caseworker at taluk panchayat furnished information of 671 housing properties located in Soppina Betta lands, deemed forest area, reserve forest area, cleared by the tahsildar. “Tahsildar Ambuja created unauthorised documents by involving private people, in violation of the government’s circulars and caused a huge loss to the state”, said the DC in his order.

The committee has been asked to submit its case-wise findings in its report.

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Printable version | May 27, 2022 1:24:56 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/chikkamagaluru-dc-orders-probe-into-irregularities-at-sringeri-taluk-office/article38277810.ece