Chief Minister Chandrasekhar Rao and his cabinet colleagues might be a happier lot with the success of Rythu Bandhu scheme in the state in which majority of them believe would reap votes in the next elections to come. CM even congratulated the revenue officials for making it a huge success but all is not well that seems well with more skeletons begin to tumble out of their cupboards.
Thanks to the CM’s decision to regularise those lands which have no papers to claim ownership except through Sada Bainama, the Revenue officials at the ground level played havoc with the genuine farmers as they issued Pattadar passbooks and cheques to the ‘self-proclaimed owners’ of the disputed farmlands. Such incidents have been reported in abundance from several parts of the state wherein local revenue officials made use of the situation to their best advantage to reap benefits.
In a classic case of such glaring violation of the rules misusing Sada Bainama policy, the Mandal Revenue Officer (MRO) of the Mustabad Mandal in Sircilla Rajanna district M. Ramesh has accorded a Pattadar passbook and the cheque to the owner-in-dispute Vadlakonda Chandram of Morraipally village who claimed to be in possession of 1.29 acre in Survey number 321C since 1997 in spite of the objections raised by the original owner Ranganayakula Srinivas of the same village.
According to the details available, a 55-year-old Ranganayakula Srinivas along with his close friend Vadlakonda Chandram has purchased 2.59-acres in Survey No.321 in Morraipally village in 2 bits admeasuring 1.29 acre and 1.30 acre each towards their part respectively in 1996 through separately registered sale deeds No.853/1996 and 854/1996, respectively dated April 4, 1996. Both the sale deeds containing the names of both Ranganayakula Srinivas and Chandram as purchasers. Hence, it was a joint property.
The story took a different turn after the victim Ranganayakula Srinivas left for Ethiopia in 1997 to eke out a livelihood and returned in 2017 only to find out Chandram had managed to sell his share of the land in Survey No.321A admeasuring 1.30 acre without his consent as a joint purchaser as per the registered sale deed. Besides, what shocked more was Chandram has also managed to secure Pattadar Passbook for the remaining 1.29 acres in Survey no.321C for which Srinivas is again a joint-owner.
The investigation launched by this news portal has revealed that accused Chandram had claimed at Mustabad MRO office that this 321C Land was bought from Srinivas through a Sada Bainama document No. B/1128/2011 dated May 28, 2011, and ever since he was in occupation of the said land.
The same was regularised based on the same document during the ‘Samagra Bhoomi survey’ (comprehensive land survey) launched by the state government recently despite the denial by the victim who deposed before the committee headed by the District Collector himself but to no avail.
He lodged a written complaint urging the action against the concerned revenue officials for violating the norms as they failed to call for an Original Sale Deed and link documents. The victim claimed he was neither contacted nor informed about any of these transactions by anyone nor he received any notice to this effect from the department concerned. But, he was also given a chance to till the land which he completed successfully in the physical presence of MRO during the latter’s inspection to the village. But to no avail.
All this was done apparently in collusion with the local revenue officials who allegedly in connivance with the accused Chandram had issued Pattadar Passbook without verifying the ownership details of the land pertaining to 1.29 acres in Survey No.321C. When contacted the MRO said that he just followed the rules which make mandatory to register the lands of those farmers who have no proper legal documentary evidence to prove their rightful ownership although they were in the possession of the same for long.
But here the case is different as the owner-in-question is neither uneducated nor the land was not so old enough to adopt Sada Bainama policy. Moreover, the land was not entirely in his name. It was a joint-ownership. Knowing pretty well all these things being a government school teacher himself, accused Chandram had obviously indulged in forgery with an intention to grab the land. This news portal has not only in possession of the original sale deed but also the CC copies of the Pahani dated May 3rd, 2018 procured from the Tehsil office which clearly establishes the ownership of Ranganayakula Srinivas over 1.29 acre in Survey no.321C.
However, the funny part of the whole issue is the Tehsildar office at Mustabad in its reply to an RTA query dated June 24, 2018, had expressed its inability to provide the copies of the Sada Bainama No. B/1128/2011 along with the 13(b)-model submitted by the owner-in-dispute Chandram pertaining to 1.28-acre in Survey No.321/C on the pretext that there was no such record exist in their office. This makes it crystal clear there is more to it than what meets the eye.
In another such incident, but with a difference, in Rampally village under Keesara revenue Mandal near the city, Revenue authorities denied Pattadar Passbook to the owner of a 5.11-acre land in Survey Nos. 552, 734, 735, 736, 737 & 738. The owner of the land Desham Chinna Narsimha Goud died last month due to age-related ailments. His wife Desham Lalitha was denied passbook on the pretext that there was a complaint lodged by her relatives regarding sharing of land. There may be a family dispute, but what made the Revenue authorities to stall the benefits to the genuine landowner due to a mere family feud is questionable especially in the absence of any court order to do so.
When asked the same, the Keesara MRO Nagaraj replied that they have orders not to entertain the lands that are in dispute. The fact remains that there is no court order nor instructions from any department pending against the land objecting for the same.
If mere objections filed by a family member or any party to stop the proceedings is a ground for the officials to decide the fate of genuine farmers in the second case, then how come the same was issued in the first case despite the written objections filed before the District Collector is a matter of grave concern.
Unless the state government holds a high-level review of all those claims made through Sada Bainama to nullify the doubts of genuine farmers who were denied their ownership rights, the whole issue may soon snow boil into a major controversy, affecting the image of TRS Government in the next elections to come.