Kottakambur land scam: Registers missing from Devikulam taluk office, SIT tells High Court

KOCHI: The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the Kottakambur land scam involving Idukki MP Joice George submitted before the Kerala High Court on Wednesday the registers pertaining to land spread over more than 9,000 acres were missing from the Devikulam taluk office. “But since the land assessment files which contain applications for assignment, sketch plan prepared by the village officer on the site inspection and verification of land are available, the missing of the Number 1 and 2 registers do not have much relevance, except for the fact the second register contains decisions of the Land Assignment Committee,” the SIT said.

The submission came in response to a petition seeking CBI probe in the scam. The SIT said the former investigation officers had attempted to trace the missing registers by sending requests to the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau in Idukki, the Economic Offences Wing in Kottayam, SP of organised crime wing and DSP, OCW, Idukki. On repeated requests of the present investigating officer, the District Collector issued a communique on October 31 saying the registers were unavailable at present. Munnar DySP S Abhilash filed the report before HC explaining the progress of the probe. 

In all the cases, fingerprint expert’s opinion was received with respect to the Power of Attorneys, the thumb impression register and the sample thumb impression of the first owners of the land. Meanwhile, the Revenue authorities cancelled the pattas, which are at the core of the crimes in the case and so, the documents based on which the pattas were cancelled are to be verified from the office of the Revenue Divisional Officer, Devikulam. 

“All efforts will be taken to verify the documents without delay. The investigation of the cases is now being held under the supervision of District Police Chief, Idukki and is in the final stages,” Abhilash submitted. He submitted three cases were registered at the Devikulam Police Station on the basis of the complaint by Mukesh of Udumbanchola against Joice George MP and others.  According to the prosecution, the accused persons belonging to higher caste acted with mutual understanding as accomplices with the criminal intention of cheating one Lakshmi of the SC/ST category, by snatching her land in survey 58/1 of Kottakambur village, Block-1. 

Article source: Kerala High Court

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