Land sale: Suspension of officers ordered in Kodagu

Land sale: Suspension of officers ordered in Kodagu

The State government has ordered the district administration to suspend the village accountants, revenue inspectors and shirastedars who facilitated 26 cases of sale of agriculture land in violation of Karnataka Land Revenue Act in Kodagu district during 2005-10.

The deputy commissioner has also been ordered to recommend suspension of tahsildars of three taluks of the district. This is the first time in Kodagu district that the government has taken such a tough decision with regard to sale of agriculture land to non-agriculturists.

It has ordered the suspension of the officials even without issuing a showcause notice. According to the Government Order (GO), it had been prima facie established that revenue officers allowed registration of farm lands in violation of the Act.

The law imposes restriction on purchase of agriculture land by persons with family income (from non-agricultural sources) above Rs two lakh. It also lays down that only farmers should purchase farm lands.

Shrinking arable land

It is said that non-agriculturists from other states have been purchasing agriculture land in various parts of the district.

The land so purchased is being utilised for commercial purposes (construction of hotels or resorts).

This has resulted in the shrinking of agriculture land in Kodagu district. Member of Legislative Council M C Nanaiah had written to the government to check the trend.

The undersecretary to the government (special cell) and the additional regional commissioner of Mysore had conducted a probe and submitted a report on the directions of the principal secretary of the revenue department.

The team probed 1,833 cases of purchase or sale of agriculture land (valued at more than Rs five lakh) in the district in the last five years.

12 cases

Of these, illegalities were established in 12 cases of Madikeri taluk, four in Virajpet taluk and 10 cases in Somwarpet.

The GO states that since a CoD probe would take time, the assistant commissioner should take a relook into all such cases.

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