In a major scam unearthed by revenue officials, pattas for government lands measuring 182 acres in Tamaraikulam, Ganguvarpatti and Vadaveera Naickenpatti in Theni district, valued at approximately ₹ 10 crore, had been cancelled.
Following a complaint from Periakulam Sub-Collector S.A. Rishabh, Theni Superintendent of Police Praveen Umesh Dongre directed the District Crime Branch police to register a case.
Based on three separate complaints, the police registered three cases under Sections 409, 465, 466, 477 (A), 468, 471, 472 and 109, read with 13 (2), of the IPC, r/w 13 (1) (c), 13 (1) (d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
According to the complainant, the irregularities had taken place from January 2017 to October 2019.
The names of the accused included Revenue Divisional Officers Jayapreetha and Anandi, who were working in Periakulam then, Tahsildars Ratnamala and Krishnakumar, Divisional Deputy Tahsildars Mohanram and Sanjeev Gandhi, Land Surveyors Pichaimani and Saktivel, VAO Suresh, assistants to Land Surveyor and Divisional Deputy Tahsildars Alagar and Rajesh Kannan.
Initial inquiries revealed that three persons – former AIADMK union secretary Anna Prakash, Bose and Muthuvelpandian – were the beneficiaries in the scam. The pattas issued online in their names were cancelled.
A senior officer, who was part of the investigations, said the huge land parcels were allegedly claimed by the beneficiaries in connivance with the officials at different levels in the revenue and survey departments.
Entries in the ‘A’ register and other land records were created by the subordinate staff and cleared by the superiors for issuance of pattas.
A land measuring 13 acres, falling under survey numbers in Ganguvarpatti, alone was estimated at ₹ 8 crore, according to the complaint.
Another land in Vadaveera Naickenpatti was worth around ₹ 1.45 crore and in Tamaraikulam, a land stretch of 60 acres was valued at about ₹ 60 lakh.
The police said presently Anandi posted in Palani as RDO, Jayapreetha working at Tiruchi Collectorate as Deputy Collector and other revenue and land survey officials were placed under suspension.
The police officers said special teams would interrogate the accused.