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Award winning bureaucrat in land row

Mysore/New Delhi, Jan 25, 2014, dhns: 2:58 IST
Savithri, the district election officer in Karnataka's Chamrajnagar during the last Assembly elections, was on Saturday awarded for the best electoral practices. She was felicitated for innovation in technology use and infrastructure management for recording election proceedings. DH photo
For M V Savithri, the euphoria of winning a national award was short-lived as a probe report found her guilty of tampering with forest land records for a bribe.

Savithri, the district election officer in Karnataka’s Chamrajnagar during the last Assembly elections, was on Saturday awarded for the best electoral practices. She was felicitated for innovation in technology use and infrastructure management for recording election proceedings.

But, the bubble burst no sooner than later as Regional Commissioner M V Jayanthi, who probed into alleged encroachment of forest land in survey No 1 and 74 at Sattegala in Chamarajanagar district, found Savithri at fault for the irregularities when she was the deputy commissioner.

The State Revenue Department and the regional commissioner will appeal to the high court in this regard, said MLC Madhusudan.

Madhusudan, while furnishing details of Jayanthi’s report before mediapersons here on Saturday, said Savithri flouted norms to illegally hand over 1,500 acres of forest land close to the Shivanasamudra falls to a retired police officer, against a bribe of Rs 1.5 crore.

Jayanthi’s report claimed that the status of the forest land, located in the midst of the Gaganachukki and Barachukki falls, was altered in violation of the Forest Conservation Act, 1980, Karnataka Forest Act, 1963, and the Karnataka Forest Rules, 1969. Madhusudan said the report, which was submitted to the government a week ago, also pointed out that Savithri had directed conversion of the land from “forest” to “kharab” on July 8, 2013, without conducting a spot inspection.

Land records for survey No 1 were also tampered with. Eighteen of the 20 signatures were found faulty. The report concluded that Savithri was responsible for the illegalities and she must be tried before a court of law.

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