An incident of illegal land grabbing using forged documents has come to light in Berhampur, Odisha.
The court of Berhampur Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate (SDJM) has admitted a case against nine persons, including a Revenue Inspector, in connection with the incident and they have been issued notices.
This legal intervention has come at a time when the police are investigating allegations of land grabbing in Berhampur and its outskirts against the now arrested former Congress MLA Ramesh Jena and his associates.
The case in which the SDJM court has summoned nine persons is related to a patch of land owned by Nirakar Sabat at Andhapasara road in the city. It was found that the land was sold to a person using a forged power of attorney. That person later sold the land to four others. For obtaining the Record of Right (ROR) and for the mutation, the buyers used fake documents in which the signature of the original owner was forged, said his legal counsel Basant Kumar Nepak. "The greatest irony is that the Revenue Inspector, despite being aware of the misdeed, gave a report in favour of the miscreants," he said.
According to Mr. Nepak, there were instances where the local tehsil office mutated and issued ROR on the basis of forged sale deeds, despite objections filed by the legitimate owner.
In spite of a Supreme Court directive to recall mutation orders obtained through fraud, revenue officials have preferred not to do that in this case, he said.
In the past, Citizens' Forum of Berhampur has urged Odisha Chief Minister to initiate action to prevent land grabbing through forged documents and protect the city from the land mafia.