HYDERABAD: In a legal victory to the government, the Hyderabad High Court on Friday struck down the allotment of 200 acres of prime land at Puppalaguda in Gachibowli to two private persons by the composite Andhra Pradesh state in 2003 terming it a huge scam. As per current rates, the land is said to be worth over Rs 8,000 crore.

The bench of acting Chief Justice Dilip B Bhosale and Justice S V Bhatt, in its final judgment, said the Telangana state can order a probe into the circumstances that led to the issuance of this fraudulent order by the then chief commissioner of land administration (CCLA).

The bench pronounced its order in a writ petition filed by Ranga Reddy district collector against the land allotment.

Interestingly this scam was perpetrated in the name of evacuees who were forced to leave their residences and properties during the India-Pakistan partition.

The Centre and the states gave compensation to such evacuees who came from various states under the pro visions of the Displaced Persons (Compensation & Rehabilitation) Act and Administration of Evacuee Property Act through their designated authorities.

In the current case, one Parasuram Ramchand Malani had come to Hyderabad from the Sindh province in Pakistan and he was given 323 acres of land in 1956 itself. In 2001, one Ramesh Parasu ram Malani made a repre sentation to the revenue authorities and claimed that he is the legal heir of Ramchand Malani and sought 200 acres more as part of their unfulfilled claim.

Though his representation was barred by limitation of time, the then government acted in a hasty manner and issued allotment orders to him and another person. In a strange and quick succession of two contrary actions, the state in 2006 upheld the 2003 allotment orders through its revisional authority on one hand and got a petition filed in the high court through its district collector on the other challenging its own orders.

The bench of Justice Bhosale and Justice S V Bhatt, which went into the issue, was shocked about the extent of fraud and said that “shades of invisible characters have certainly played a vital role in obtaining these allotment orders”.

The bench thoroughly vetted the files and found from the records several incriminating documents, including fraudulent acts like how Parasaram Ramchand Malani became Parasaram Ramchand Mangir Malani. The bench commented that there is more to it than what meets the eye.

Telangana advocate general K Ramakrishna Reddy told the court during the hearing that the `invisible hands’ had committed a fraud and caused disappearance of all records pertaining to the land allotment. An ACB probe was ordered and the help of the top police officials too was taken by the state to go deep into the issue. With great difficulty we could rebuild the file to some extent, the AG said.

Noting that this claim was filed by the alleged legal heirs 47 years after the original allotment and 13 years after the death of the original claimant, the bench at one stage wondered whether even the current person who filed this petition was a genuine person or a fictitious character created by the `invisible hands’.We hope and trust that the state would order a probe into the issue to get to the bottom of the case, the bench said.

Regarding few other petitions filed by several poor people who were living in some pockets of this land from a long time, the bench said that since the state is vested with the land, it is open for it to take a call on that and closed all such petitions.

Source: TOI-Hyd