Inquiry panel clears Jayalalithaa of land grab charges

Inquiry panel clears Jayalalithaa of land grab charges

"As there was no specific complaint against Jayalalithaa, no notice was issued to her for inquiry," the Justice K P Sivasubramaniam Commission, appointed by the Tamil Nadu government to probe the allegations, said.The report was tabled in the Tamil Nadu Assembly on Thursday.

Though there was no acquisition of land in Sasikala's name, notice was still sent to her since her relatives, V N Sudhakaran, a former foster son of Jayalalithaa, and Ilavarasi, were partners of Bharani Resorts which obtained patta (title deed) "in an improper manner" after transferring land allotted to landless poor, it said.

Noting that Bharani Resorts had made false statements, the Commission said evidence showed that the firm was in illegal possession of the land since 1994.
"The possession can be nothing more or less than a high-handed illegal possession, without any rights," it said.

A revenue officer on the verge of his retirement was transferred from Tuticorin to Kanchipuram district and had effected the transfer of patta the very next day of receiving the application, the Commission said.

It recommended to the government to take back the land but was against restoring it to the original assignees, who had sold the land, violating the condition that they should not sell the property during their life time.

According to the complainants, whose case was taken up by CPI-M's state unit, they had received a loan of Rs 8,750 in 1983 and were required to sign a document. In 1994 there was "obstruction" from persons residing in the bungalow nearby, which they had alleged belonged to Sasikala where Jayalalithaa was staying.

They alleged they were chased out in 1994 during the AIAMDK regime, and charged that records were created as if the property had been sold and their names removed from revenue records.The Commission also said it was within government's power to take steps to resume land in accordance with law and redistribute it to poor landless SC/ST persons.