TN govt in fix over Dinakaran land

TN govt in fix over Dinakaran land

TN govt in fix over Dinakaran land

As more locals of his village get vocal every passing day since District Collector V Palanikumar had sent a report earlier this month to the Supreme Court that 199.53 acres of ‘poromboke (government)’ land had been allegedly encroached upon over the years by the judge under a cloud, it is Justice Dinakaran’s symbolic denial mode now that is intriguing all.

“In recent days we have been getting more complaints from the locals, mostly over the phone, that the barbed wire fencing which marked off the lands under the judge’s possession in Kaverirajapuram was being removed, forcing us to rush to the place to verify their veracity,” a senior Revenue Department official of Tirutanni Taluk told Deccan Herald on Friday.

While the officials are carrying out the Collector’s orders, it has irked Justice Dinakaran. He had earlier this month once even “threatened us” through his local man over the cell phone, asking why the officials visited his (judge’s) ‘patta’ (private) lands without his permission, the official said.

“Again on Wednesday last he (judge) spoke to me over the phone to ascertain the purpose of our visit (to the village) politely, but made no mention about the fencing or anything to do with that at all,” the revenue official alleged, requesting anonymity.

This time, however, the team of officials found that the fencing (marking off the encroached land) to the extent of about 1,200 metres and covering some 40 acres had been removed. “We have given a report to the district collector who in turn has informed the State Government,” the official said.

As the extent of the encroached lands had been quantified and sent to the apex court following ‘land grab’ charges against Justice Dinakaran, whose elevation to the Supreme Court had been put on hold for this very reason, the judge was now on the defensive, says K Balakrishnan, General Secretary of the ‘Tamil Nadu Vivsayigal Sangam.’

More trouble

Significantly, the ‘Sangam’ has also sent a detailed letter to the apex court, putting the judge’s total land holdings (both ‘poromboke’ and “patta” lands) at over 700 acres. As Justice Dinakaran recently claimed that he had not encroached upon “even a cent of land,” by removing the fencing now he “seeks to precisely prove that,” Balakrishnan reasoned. Sources, however, said that unless either the government or the Supreme Court gave any direction, the District Administration could do nothing but maintain “status quo,” as the person involved occupied the highest Judicial office in the Karnataka High Court.

Ironically, Justice Dinakaran, by directing the de-fencing the “poromboke” lands, made it easier for the State to regain them, sources said. “Even otherwise, the government can take them back but its hands are tied unless the Supreme Court gives further directions as it was under its request the encroached lands were identified in the first place,” sources emphasised to explain the “Catch-22” dilemma facing the Tamil Nadu Government.   

Meanwhile, the 300 Dalit families of Kaverirajapuram have urged the district collector that all the surplus lands allegedly possessed by Justice Dinakaran should be taken over by the government and redistributed to them, either under the “free two acres scheme” to turn waste lands into cultivable tracts or as “house-site pattas,” sources added.