State govt to proceed against IAS officer for helping land grabbers

State govt to proceed against IAS officer for helping land grabbers

State govt to proceed against IAS officer for helping land grabbers

According to a probe by the Bangalore Regional Commissioner, between July 2008 and November 2010 H Ramanjaneya as Special DC passed orders favouring some land grabbers in as many as 428 cases with even verifying supporting documents, resulting in the loss of 1,041 acres of government land.

The investigation found that during his tenure as Special DC Ramanjaneya committed the irregularities in his position as a “magistrate”.

Ramanjaneya faces charges of helping land sharks whom he favoured by dropping investigation into cases registered in Bangalore City limits under Section 136(3) of the Karnataka Land Revenue Act.

According to this provision, a Special DC has powers to stop land grabbing and can order the local tahsildar to submit a report whenever he receives complaints of encroachment of government land.

Once prima facie evidence is gathered, a case can be registered against the encroachers in the Special DC’s court.

In such land grab cases, the government and the encroachers will be the petitioner and respondents, respectively. The cases are decided on the basis of relevant documents that real estate dealers must furnish to prove they own the land in question.

Land grab probe
After taking charge as Bangalore Urban Special DC on July 8, 2008, Ramanjaneya, originally a Karnataka Administrative Service officer, oversaw investigation into land grab cases within his jurisdiction.

While serving in that capacity, Ramanjaneya was arrested by the Lokayukta police while receiving a bribe of Rs 50,000 in a case related to providing a land conversion order. Ramanjaneya served in that post till November 29, 2010.
Following several allegations of corruption against  Ramanjaneya, V Balasubramanian, the chairman of the task force for protecting government land, examined the charges carefully.

Convinced that there was a prima facie case against Ramanjaneya, Balasubramanian ordered the Bangalore Regional Commissioner in December last year to submit a report on the orders the Special DC issued with cases under Section 136(3) of the KLR Act.

In his report, submitted to Balasubramanian recently, the Bangalore Regional Commissioner found that Ramanjaneya passed orders favouring some land grabbers in 428 cases without verifying the documents they submitted.

Based on this report, Balasubramanian directed the Karnataka Public Land Corporation to file an appeal in the Karnataka High Court against the orders issued by Ramanjaneya. The corporation appealed to the government to appoint a special advocate who is now preparing to file cases against Ramanjaneya.

When contacted, Balasubramanian said there was evidence that Ramanjaneya took decisions leading to a loss of about Rs 1,500 crore. He said the High Court would be moved next week against Ramanjaneya’s orders.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox