The Special Investigation Team set up by the Andhra Pradesh government to probe a massive land scam in Visakhapatnam submitted its report to the state Cabinet on Tuesday, reported The New Indian Express.
YSR Congress leader Dharmana Prasada Rao, who was the revenue minister when the scam occurred, eight senior Indian Administrative Service officers and district-level officials from the stamps and registration department have been named in the report, according to the Hindustan Times. Visakhapatnam District Collector Praveen Kumar, Port Trust Chairman Krishna Babu are among those reportedly named.
The government has reportedly decided to take action against the government employees named in the report and appoint a three-member committee to recover the land.
The scam pertains to tampering of records to encroach close to 1,226 acres of government land in and around the city. The investigators received 2,875 representations from people living in 40 mandals during their inquiries.
Rao, who is accused of obtaining no-objection certificates to obtain land for a company he was involved with, denied the allegations and accused the ruling Telugu Desam Party of targeting him. “We purchased the land at Rs 5.3 crore only after the seller obtained a NOC from the then district collector and the sale deed for the same was executed by the revenue and stamps and registration departments jointly,” Rao told the Hindustan Times. “Where is the scope for tampering of records?”
The former minister alleged that the Special Investigation Team was silent on suspected fraud in land deals from 2014 because it wanted to protect senior Telugu Desam Party leaders.
The Special Investigation Team had submitted the report in January but it was not tabled before the Cabinet until Tuesday.