Commission rejects TN Govt submission on Poromboke lands

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Chennai, Aug 4 (UNI) The Justice K P Sivasubramaniam Commission today rejected the submission made by the Tamil Nadu government to proceed against the encroachments on Poromboke lands at Siruthavur village in Kancheepuram District of Tamil Nadu by close aides of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.

The Commission was constituted in July 2006, to inquire into allegations of grabbing of land allotted to Adi Dravidas and landless poor in Siruthavur village by adopting unfair means.

The state government on August one submitted before the Commission that it would proceed against encroachments on Poromboke lands and retrieve them under the Land Encroachment Act (LEA).

This would be done provided the petitioner T Chitra and one of the Directors of Bharani Resort Limited in which Ms Sasikala and Ilavarasi are other directors, stood by their petition that the Commission's jurisdiction did not extend to Poromboke lands.

The memo submitted by J Raja Kalifulla, Government Pleader (GP), High Court, stated that during inquiry, a witness V Subramanian had submitted details of Poromboke lands in and around Siruthavur village. This was objected to by the petitioner's counsel. Following this, the Commission issued notice to the GP to ascertain the government's view and report to the Commission.

The government said that in the notification appointing the Commission, there was a reference about poromboke lands. It was quite evident that the Commission was vested with jurisdiction to inquire into the grabbing of such lands also.

The government Pleader further submitted that as per documents on records, 53 acres assigned to the landless poor had been encroached upon. Besides this, 31.23 acres of poromboke lands had been encroached upon and fenced. A compound wall had been put up. If the Commission came to the conclusion that on the basis of the statement made by the petitioner Ms Chitra, it would restrict its jurisdiction only to the extent of lands assigned to Adi Davida's and landless poor in Siruthavur village, then liberty may be given to the government to proceed under the LEA.

While passing orders today, Justice Sivasubramaniam said the Commission will act according to its terms of reference and it will inquire about the alleged land grabbing of 53 acres assigned to Adi Davida's and landless poor. As per the LEA, the government is having no inherent power, the Commission said.

UNI XR PK KN2037

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