Officials unwilling to reveal R&R plots allotment list

The episode of suspension of Head Master of a Zilla Parishat High School B. Srinivas Rao, for falsely claiming Rehabilitation and Resettlement benefits for his son by indulging in impersonation has raised many an eyebrow. The big question now is how many such cases might have taken place and how many of them are yet to come to the notice of authorities or local residents.

Mr. Srinivas Rao was native of Vemulaghat, one of the villages that was getting submerged under Mallannasagar and working as a headmaster. Collector P. Venaktarami Reddy suspended Mr. Srinivas Rao on the grounds that he has wrongly claimed R&R benefits for his son by having someone else impersonate him.

The residents of Vemulaghat and other submergence villages had flagged the possibility of such claims by ineligible persons and had consistently been demanding that the officials make public the list of beneficiaries of the Relief and Rehabilitation package. They had moved the High Court and got an order directing the officials to hand over a copy of the list of beneficiaries to the petitioners.

The interesting part is that the officials preferred to pay a penalty imposed by the High Court rather than reveal the list of persons displaced by the project who were being allotted house sites as part of the R&R package.

A group of oustees from submerging villages — S. Ashok, Ch. Umma Reddy and T. Ramesh — filed petitions before the High Court seeking details of beneficiaries of plots under R&R as the local level officials failed to respond under Right to Information Act (RTI). On April 20, 2021, the High Court gave six weeks time to Siddipet Revenue RDO, Siddipet, and directed him to provide the details or pay ₹ 10,000 from his salary towards costs to the Telangana High Court Advocates Association.

As the RDO had failed to provide the list by the due date, on July 13, the High Court directed Siddipet RDO Ananth Reddy to deposit ₹ 20,000 in favour of Telangana High Court Advocates Association.

“Mr. Ananth Reddy was present. He apologized for non-compliance of this court order to provide the documents sought by petitioner. He seeks a further period of 15 days to comply with the said order. Earlier also the court has granted time. As a final opportunity, this court grants further time of two weeks subject to the condition that Mr. Ananth Reddy shall deposit ₹ 20,000 in favour of the Telangana High Court Advocates’ Association and file proof of payment before the next date of hearing. It is made clear that no further time will be granted. List on 27.07.2021,” read the Court order on July 13, 2021, in cases filed by both S. Ashok and T. Ramesh.

The RDO has deposited ₹ 30,000 for three writ petitions as directed by the High Court and informed this in the affidavit filed before the High Court. When contacted Mr. Anantha Reddy told The Hindu that he has forwarded information in the case related to Ch. Umma Reddy.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 1:25:32 PM |

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