Panubala Oraon, 65, a tribal woman staying on a plot at Akna village on the outskirts of Chinsura town since 1981, handed the land over to her son Kartik Oraon,36, by a gift deed on March 19, 2010. On the deed, according to which the value of the plot was Rs 1.25 lakh, Kartik Oraon was shown as Kartik Das, a non-tribal. After receiving the gift deed, Kartik sold the land to Hemanta Haldar and Sabtri Devi for Rs 4.5 lakh in June 2010, dividing it into two plots.
Following this land transfer, the Dr B R Ambedkar Mission, a social organisation which works for tribals in various districts, filed a PIL with the Calcutta High Court in July. Panubala too filed a petition with the High Court. The petition pointed out that a tribal land holding cannot be transferred to a non-tribal person.
Advocate Mukundalal Sarkar, counsel for the petitioner, submitted that land owned by a tribal could be handed over only to a tribal, according to the provisions of the Land Reforms Act. He pointed out that Kartik had changed his surname without filing an affidavit in court, after being influenced by a building promoter to sell his land.
Advocate Partha Sarathi Bhattacharya, counsel for Panubala, submitted that local building promoter Supriya Manna was behind the land transfer and had influenced the Oraon family to hand over the land in such a manner.
Kartik had been influenced by Manna and he did so to earn some extra money, said Bhattacharya. A Division Bench consisting of Chief Justice J N Patel and Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya directed the Chinsura Block revenue officer to complete the proceedings on the illegal transaction in six months.
More than 100 tribal families reside in Akna village, which is located on the outskirts of Chinsura town. The land price there is on the rise due to a racket by building promoters to grab tribal land.
Supriya Manna has been trying to influenced the tribals there to transfer their land at higher prices, said Sarkar.
Also in the High Court
Rule to be framed against corporal punishment: Govt
* The state government on Friday apprised Calcutta High Court of a new rule that would be framed to stop corporal punishment in schools. Pratik Dhar, counsel for the state government, said that the new rule would come into force soon. He informed that School Education Minister Partha Dey had discussed the issue of corporal punishment with his officers on July 27 and that a decision had been taken on the introduction of the new rule. It was in compliance with an order passed two weeks ago that Dhar on Friday submitted to a Division Bench headed by Chief Justice J N Patel an expert opinion report on the need to stop corporal punishment. During the hearing, the Division Bench said the media had an important role to play in creating awareness against corporal punishment. Dhar had discussed the issue with Dr Sukanta Chatterjee, Professor and Head of Pediatrics of the Adolescent Health Clinic, Medical College, Kolkata. According to the report, Chatterjee had suggested framing of a new law to eliminate corporal punishment. He insisted that children as well as all stake-holders of the education process should be made aware about it.
KMC told to conduct pension scheme audit
The Calcutta High Court on Friday directed Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) to conduct a financial as well as social audit of a Central government-funded old age pension scheme within eight weeks. The Division Bench of Chief Justice J N Patel and Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya also directed the civic body to submit a preliminary report of the audit in three weeks. On July 23, the High Court had directed the KMC to stop paying the beneficiaries of the scheme in cash after a PIL filed by a Kolkata resident, Sant Bux Singh, alleged gross irregularities in the scheme. As per the scheme, the KMC gives Rs 400 per month to 260 elderlies in each of the 141 wards.
MLA’s bodyguard held with arms
The bodyguard of CPM MLA Madhu Majhi Murmu was arrested for carrying a gun in the Calcutta High Court on Friday. Murmu told the police that he had gone to the High Court to meet a person named Alok Tudu. The gun and six cartridges were seized from Buddheshwar Murmu, a resident of Bandwan in Purulia district.