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Kerala HC Decision on complaint regarding fair value of land

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Shivangi Prakash-

Published on: September 14, 2021 at 13:37 IST

The Kerala High Court has upheld the decision of the Thrissur vigilance Court for not conducting an investigation into a complaint stating that the fair value of land owned by former chief secretary Bharat Bhushan’s wife was illegally lowered to half.

Vidya Sangeeth, the vigilance Court’s complainant, had her petition dismissed by Justice R Narayana Pisharadi.

The complaint identified as defendants Thrissur district collector MS Jaya, Thrissur Additional District Magistrate (ADM) Shelvaraj, Thrissur village officer Raghunandan, and Ranjana Bharat Bhushan.

In April 2014, Ranjana filed an appeal with the collector to reduce the fair value, which was set at Rs 24,70,000.

Despite the fact that the deadline for filing an appeal had passed in October 2012, the collector received it despite the delay.

According to the allegations, the ADM conducted an investigation and acquired a favourable report from the village officer. According to the complaint, fair value was cut to Rs 12,35,000 on June 1, 2014, based on such a report.

The fair value was allegedly cut without comparison to similar lands, and it was clearly stated in the collector’s order that the fair value so determined for Ranjana’s land would not be relevant to any other land of the same kind in Thrissur village.

The High Court, in rejecting to intervene, stated that abuse of position cannot be inferred just from the speed with which the appeal was handled, and that dishonest purpose cannot be attributed to confining the benefit of the ruling to the fourth accused.

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