Land scam in Vagamon: Fake title deeds used to sell 55 acre govt-owned land
Peerumedu (Idukki): The Crime Branch found that 55 acres of land owned by the government in Vagamon was fragmented and sold by private plantation owners using fake title deeds. Revenue and registration officers also supported this act, a probe report submitted by the crime branch in the high court revealed.
According to the findings, Ernakulam native and owner of Ranimudi estate Jolly Stephen and his father K. J. Stephen are involved in the land scam. The fraud came to light when a complaint filed by Jolly Stephen’s ex-wife was investigated. She stated in the complaint that Jolly Stephen and his father grabbed her land using fake title deed.
In 1989, Jolly Stephen and relatives bought 54.7-acre land that have title deeds. Along with this, they encroached 55.3 acre government land and also created 15 fake title deeds under fictitious names with the help of the revenue officers of Peerumedu taluk at that time, the crime branch found out.
Later, the title deeds were handed over to their relative Biju George using power of attorney in order to sell it. A total of 46.22-acre land worth Rs 60 crore was sold this way. The report also demanded probe into the remaining government owned land. Many resorts are constructed in the sold land presently.
Apart from encroaching and selling government owned land, they also created fake documents for 54.7-acre land that already had title deed, because the survey numbers were incorrect. The probe report also stated that the clear picture of the land fraud can be understood only after they are properly interrogated.