CID busts land grabbers, uncover fake civil suit racket

CID busts land grabbers, unearths fake civil suit racket

So far, police have unearthed 116 such fake suits filed by many people in connivance with advocates and others

The CID has arrested four advocates who were allegedly involved in the fraud. Credit: iStockPhoto

Sleuths from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) have busted a network of land grabbers who had amassed land worth over Rs 600 crore in and around Bengaluru by filing fake civil suits.

So far, police have unearthed 116 such fake suits filed by many people in connivance with advocates and others. The CID has arrested four advocates who were allegedly involved in the fraud, sources in the investigating agency told DH.

The modus operandi went like this.

Fraudsters identified vacant land belonging to government and private parties that were lying unused. Subsequently, they would create fake petitioners and respondents who would fight over these land parcels in the court and ultimately arrive at a compromise decree. The land would be subsequently sold for crores of rupees, sources said.

The registrar of Small Causes Court R Dhanalakshmi had registered a complaint with the Halasuru Gate police about a fake suit filed by one B Mani, a 28-year-old man from Mysuru, his friends Sendil Kumar and Arun. An FIR was registered in this regard on December 7, 2020.

The trio were accused of trying to grab the land belonging to Shah Harilal Bhikhabhai and Company at first stage, Gokul, near Yeshwantpur. Mani created fake documents that showed Sendil as the general power of attorney (GPA) holder of the property. They filed a suit against one Arun and subsequently got into a compromise decree. Later, they got an execution order against Arun.

Ravindra C Shah, the original owner, filed an objection petition before the high court contesting the execution order and fraudulent decrees. Ravindra had stated that he got to know about the fraud only when the bailiff appeared at the property for eviction.

The Halasuru Gate police had registered a case under several IPC sections including 420 (cheating) and 465 (forgery).

Based on the directions of the High Court, the state government entrusted the investigation to CID. The case registered by Halasuru Gate was transferred to CID. The CID sleuths investigating into the fraud have unearthed around 116 fake suits filed in the court, with the properties in these suits said to be worth around Rs 600 crore.

An investigating officer said the probe was still in progress. “As the investigation is made on court directions and since we are yet to file a full report before them, we cannot reveal the names of the arrested advocates and other suspects who are said to be in powerful positions,” he said.

The advocates had joined hands with the land grabbers. The main accused of the fraud used to identify the empty properties and pass on the information of the respective land to advocates, the officer said.

Then they used to create fake documents and produce them before a court when a fake suit is filed. Many original owners are not aware of the fake suits filed on their lands. A few properties have been already sold to others, he added.

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