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Government out to torpedo shady land deals

Government out to torpedo shady land deals
Highlights

Taken aback by the multi-crore land scam, that came to light in the State capital three days ago, the State government is coming out with more comprehensive guidelines to deter illegal registration of government lands and also to take punitive measures against corrupt officials in the State.

A five-member committee of top officials from Stamps and Registration Department has been constituted to frame guidelines

Hyderabad: Taken aback by the multi-crore land scam, that came to light in the State capital three days ago, the State government is coming out with more comprehensive guidelines to deter illegal registration of government lands and also to take punitive measures against corrupt officials in the State.

Following the instructions of the Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, a five member committee of top officials in Stamps and Registration Department had been constituted to frame the guidelines. The report is asked to be submitted within a month. Based on the report, the committee would prepare new rules and guidelines to ensure land registrations are done in a transparent manner and hold officials responsible for any illegal land transactions or evasion of stamp duty in the land registration.

The committee constitutes Deputy Inspector General V Srinivasulu and Additional Inspector General G Madhusudhan Reddy.
Top officials told The Hans India, that the committee is studying the procedures followed in the registration of government lands in the name of private parties and will ascertain the possible collusion of Sub Registrars and Revenue officials in the case of illegal registrations.

In the present land scam, the officials of the Registration Department did not seek clarification on land details from the Revenue department before registering 570 acres of land in the name of the accused, as there are no laws to review the ownership of land by the two departments.

“It is a clear case, either the officials of Registration and Revenue departments had colluded with the private agency during the registration of government land or only the Sub Registrar did it clandestinely,” a senior official said and added that the government wanted to fix the Registrar to prevent any such illegal registrations being done in the future. Towards this end, new rules are being framed.

When it comes to the registration of private lands, officials said the authorities would have to verify the history of the property documents possessed by the sellers and the buyer should seek an EC (Encumbrance Certificate). In many cases, buyers in collusion with the officials create fake documents, officials said.

The government has taken serious note of the increasing number of illegal registration in the State particularly in Hyderabad and Rangareddy districts where land prices are high. The committee would address all the above mentioned issues and also recommend stringent action against the officials found guilty in the land transactions, the official added.

By Patan Afzal Babu

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