cial tahsildar for the Erode Urban Land Tax Project, S Sampath, on Sunday recommended to the Erode tahsildar that steps be taken to take over and maintain a 12.66-acre disputed government property on Brough Road, said to be worth over Rs 900 crore, after seeking the Collector’s advice.
The Church of South India (CSI) has claimed that the land belonged to the CSI trust. According to the CSI administration, a Christian missionary, HA Papli, bought the land in an auction held in 1905 at a price of Rs 12,910 and handed it over to the London Mission (CSI) in 1907. As the trust was unable to get a patta for the property from the tahsildar, it approached the assistant Urban Land Tax Project Officer, Chennai, in 2010.
On June 30, 2010, the officer recommended necessary corrections on the government records to give the patta to the trust.
On that basis, the trust approached the tahsildar a second time. But, the tahsildar and some others appealed against the order with the Commissioner for Land Revenue and Settlement, who, after perusing the records (survey No 586 and 587) found that the property was mentioned as government land. Hence, he cancelled the order of the Assistant Urban Land Tax Project Officer and ordered a de novo probe by the special tahsildar.
On the basis of documents submitted by both the parties, Sampath passed an order on July 10, 2012, stating that the CSI trust did not submit any registered document of HA Papli, his successor Anthony Watson Brough or the present authorities, to prove that the land was bought in an auction.
He also found many anomalies in the auction records and the title deed of HA Papli, which were produced by the trust. Papli did not have any right to transfer the land to the London Mission (CSI) in 1907, he noted, while adding that the land registration did not fulfil the norms. The revenue department has been asked to record it as ‘government poromboke land’. There was no need to recover the land as it already belonged to the government, the order said.
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