Bogus documents racket: Documents relating to disputed properties seized

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 11 Mar 2017 10:37:35

Staff Reporter,

A day after conducting search at the office of ‘estate agent’ Vinay Deshraj Bhatia and seized documents from there, the district administration has come across documents relating to disputed properties indicating that Bhatia might be working for some bigwigs into the business of changing ownership of disputed properties in their favour.

According to officials in the know of things, Bhatia used to collect ‘service charges’ from clients to get done their works relating to City Survey Office. In some cases, the administration has come across certain documents, if the works were not done through City Survey Office, he himself used to forge the documents and give those to clients. In a case, he had fixed the deal at Rs 3.80 lakh for doing the work regarding a property. The officials said that Bhatia was working for eight to 10 years and was referring to himself as an ‘estate agent’.

Sachin Kurve, District Collector, told ‘The Hitavada’ that thorough probe is being conducted into the matter. A scan of documents seized from Bhatia’s office revealed that there were several documents relating to disputed properties. Kurve said that this case highlighted the need for people to get their works done by themselves and not through touts or agents.

“Already, we have started a counter at Setu Kendra in District Collectorate premises, to ensure that people can get documents regarding land records and City Survey Office without much hassle. If people face any difficulty there, they may approach the officers concerned. However, people should not go to touts and agents and fall prey to their designs,” he said.

It may be recalled here that Vinita Lanjewar, Tehsildar (Nazul), had lodged a First Information Report (FIR) at Bajaj Nagar Police Station against Bhatia. In the FIR, it was stated that some Government documents and rubber seals of Returning Officer, North Nagpur Constituency; City Survey Officer,Nagpur; Returning Officer, Shikshak Sahakari Bank Limited, Nagpur, were seized from his office. The team also found local Nazul Dak Book with entries from June 23, 2006 to February 20, 2009; Nazul Branch register of District Collector, Nagpur, with entries from July 21, 2008 to December 31, 2009.

Officials in the know of things said that seizure of Nazul Branch register from Bhatia’s office hints at involvement of some Government staffers also in the matter. Kurve himself is monitoring the probe into the matter and is in no mood to spare those involved, said an official.

The team that conducted search at Bhatia’s office had also found 11 blank sets of green-coloured form titled ‘Form-H, Office of the Collector, Nagpur, Renewal of Lease Into Municipal/Nazul for Building Purpose’. The documents and records seized from Bhatia’s office were meant for Government use only and no private individual was supposed to handle or possess those.