Swati Das | Chennai
Karnataka CJ allegedly threatens objecting Govt officials over mobile to prosecute them
On Saturday afternoon there were attempts to remove the fencing in the disputed property of Karnataka Chief Justice PD Dinakaran in Kaverirajapuram in Thiruvallur district neighbouring Chennai, which is under discreet inquiry instituted by the Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan.
According to sources, Thiruvallur Collector V Palanikumar, on information from the village, instructed the police to help the Kaverirajapuram village administration officer (VAO) and the Thiruttani Tehsildar to investigate and stop the removal of fencing which is considered evidence that Justice Dinakaran had allegedly encroached upon Government land.
"We had instructions from the Collector and as per his instructions we have sent a team along with the Tehsildar and the VAO to the spot," said a senior police official of the district.
Village sources alleged that by the time the team reached the spot, three poles in the plot survey 331 (Government land) were already removed.
Talking to The Pioneer over telephone, Kaverirajapuram VAO R Govindasubramani said that he and the Tiruttani Tehsildar R Vijayaragavalu went to verify the information they received about the alleged removing of the fencing when they were accosted by Justice Dinakaran’s manager Rajkumar.
"As part to the Supreme Court inquiry we had given report about the encroachment on poremboke land (unassigned Government land). Now, when we got this information that fencing is being removed, we went there. Rajkumar, the judge’s manager contacted the judge over cell phone. Justice Dinakaran himself spoke to the Tehsildar and threatened him that if we interfered in his matter any more then he would take criminal action against us. So fearing this we came away from the property," Govindasubramani said.
Even as Govindasubramani and Vijayaragavalu entered the fenced area to stop the removal of the fencing, a police team had stood outside. The team included a Tiruttani DSP and Thiruvelangadu sub-inspector. Also accompanying the Tehsildar and VAO were Revenue Divisional Officer, Zonal Deputy Tehsildar and a revenue inspector. The team was carrying video camera to record the happenings.
According to Govindasubramani about 200 acres of poremboke land has been encroached upon by Justice Dinakaran. "We as Government officials were inspecting a Government land and the judge is threatening us. He is running five companies, some benami (Dearlands Private Limited, Amudam Gardens, Amritham Garden and Canaan Garden Pvt Ltd). The fifth one is the name of his wife Vinodini, who is a partner in three of the five firms," the VAO added.
"We had gone there after the Collector contacted me over phone," Tehsildar Vijayaragavalu told The Pioneer. "When Justice Dinakaran’s manager Rajkumar handed the cell phone to me, the judge asked me who we were. I told him that on the Collector’s instruction we had come to inspect the removal of the fencing. He asked me how we can enter his property without his permission. He threatened to file a criminal case against us if we don’t leave the place immediately. He also spoke to the RDO over the cell phone, after which we left. We have given our report to the Collector. He has sent his report to the Chief Minister and perhaps the Supreme Court too," Vijayaragavalu added.
Admitting that he himself and the VAO were part of the Supreme Court inquiry team, Vijayaragavalu narrated how they went differently clothed for the investigation earlier into Justice Dinakaran’s property. "Had we gone in our regular dress we would not have been allowed inside. We had to be well dressed," he added. He said that Justice Dinakaran has encroached on Government land adjacent to and in-between patta (owned) lands.
There was no response when The Pioneer contacted Palanikumar. His office and Vijayaragavalu said that Palanikumar, who took charge as Thiruvallur Collector only around a month ago, has been unwell. The inquiry was done under Collector’s supervision.
Meanwhile, Thiruvallur district joint secretary of All India Kissan Sabha Afzal Ahmed filed a complaint against Justice Dinakaran at the Kanakaamma Chatram police station on charges of trying to remove evidence of encroachment. "We came to know of this in the morning itself and informed all Government officials, including VAO and Collector. Later in the evening, I filed the complaint," Ahmed told this correspondent.
According to allegations, Justice Dinakaran owns over 400 acres of land in Kaverirajapuram, far more than the ownership ceiling. He is alleged to have taken Government land as well, taking advantage of the Government officials’ negligence.