District Collector H. Dinesan has cancelled the title deeds of 54 acres of land encroached on by Jolly Stephen with the support of the revenue officials at Ranimudy in Wagamon.
The land encroachment came to light after the Crime Branch inquired into a complaint filed by Sherly, Jolly Stephan’s former wife, regarding a dispute with regard to another property at Wagamon.
It was revealed that 12 title deeds of the land under the ownership of Jolly Stephen were fake and in the name of ‘unknown’ persons.
It was found that the land in the name of ‘unknown’ persons were secured through power of attorney. It was done in connivance with the officials at the village and taluk offices.
The title deeds were cancelled as per the 1964 land assignment rules. With this, all ‘tandaper’ there will be cancelled.
Mr. Dinesan told The Hindu on Wednesday that the fake title deeds were created in the name of unknown persons with the connivance of the Revenue Department officials. Using the power of attorney, Jolly Stephen sold the land to people who were not aware that the land documents were fake. A number of persons from outside the district purchased the land, it was revealed in a hearing by the Collector.
He said that it was found that there were fake documents for 36 acres of land, though the encroacher had held 54 acres of land.
The inquiry found that a ‘sarvamuthkthyar’ was made on March 3, 1994, with the power of attorney in the name of Jolly Stephen, his father K.J. Stephen, and one Biju Mandapathil.
A 20-page report submitted by the Collector to the government said that those officials who had connived with the encroacher should be brought before the law through a Vigilance or Crime Branch inquiry.
Nearly 200 resorts are on the encroached land at Ranimudy now. The property would be attached as per the law, said sources.
There were 10.52 acres of land in the name of Sherly and her mother Elizabeth at Ranimudy.
After the divorce, they gave a complaint to the Wagamon police station that the land was sold after creating fake documents by Jolly Stephen.
An initial inquiry by the police found that Jolly Stephen had constructed a few buildings on the land owned by Sherly and Elizabeth.
Following this, a Crime Branch inquiry was ordered and it was found that vast areas of land were encroached upon and sold by Jolly Stephen.
The land was sold as plots and those purchased them had built resorts there. There is no marked boundary to the encroached land. The entire encroached land will be attached as per the law, said Mr. Dinesan.