For More Info Log on to

Google Groups Subscribe to RTI Group
Browse Archives at

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Dead man comes alive using RTI

2 Jul 2009, 0650 hrs IST, Paul John, TNN
AHMEDABAD: Sulochna Shah, 70, could not believe her eyes when a letter from the Records of Rights (RoR) of the revenue department in July 2006 declared her a widow and that Champaklal, her husband, had four more sons and daughters other than her six children!

But here was her husband , who was alive and sitting beside her and pleading that all that the four new "stepchildren" in the revenue department letter did not exist.

Champaklal, like many others, was caught in the web of lies spun in the revenue records as part of a major land scam masterminded by land sharks in the state.

It's one of the ways land sharks in Ahmedabad, conniving with village talatis, buy huge tracts of agricultural land without possessing legal farmers certificates.

Without wasting any time Champaklal filed an RTI application to know exactly how it happened. After a lot of resistance the revenue department parted with the records. It was an eyeopener for the deputy collector of Viramgam.

A local talati of Dethraj taluka, in Vasna Saniyar village helped miscreants sharing the same 'Champaklal' surname, get their names included as inheritors in revenue records of Shah. These miscreants were then provided farmer's certificate. The deputy collector noticed that the talati had used the same modus operandi in records of other people, alerted the district development officer (DDO) of the scam in 2007 and requested an enquiry.
The matter is hushed up and the DDO is yet to react to the letter. "People owning land or any sort of property should file RTI to ensure that their records are straight--almost every year. This would ensure that there is no meddling in the revenue records. Such cases happen in the case of large land owners. These miscreants just need a farmer's certificate to start with, then buy agriculture land in surrounding areas.
After buying huge tracts they will forge a "power of attorney" document and enter their names as inheritors and even sell of your land," says Champaklal. The revenue department is yet to institute an inquiry into the incident after Shah's RTI application. The department's reluctance is plausible as land holdings of all those who are found possessing farmer's certificates by making such false entries would be considered null and void under section 84 (c) of the Tenancy Act, the land would be seized by the government or returned to the real owner.
On July 26, 2006 Sulochna Shah, Champaklal's wife, receives a letter from revenue dept declaring her a widow Champaklal files RTI to find out about the entries made in the revenue records for Dethraj taluka The RTI also reveals similar cases in the revenue records Deputy collector of Viramgam pranth requests the district development officer (DDO) to initiate an enquiry into the scam.

No comments: