Orissa HC Directs Action Against Sundargarh Collector

CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court has directed the Registrar (Judicial) to initiate proceedings against Sundargarh district collector for filing a false affidavit in connection with a land acquisition case of NTPC.

District collector Bhupendra Singh Punia has filed a false affidavit relating to the land acquisition in Lefripada block area in Sundargarh for setting up a super thermal power plant of NTPC

About 1,750 acres of land was acquired in Lefripada block for the project. The land of 120 persons of Darlipali village was acquired for the project, said sources. However, four of them did not get the compensation.

Later, the four moved the High Court seeking its intervention into the matter as they did not get compensation. The court, on May 16, had directed the collector to appear before it having all records.

However, the High Court expressed disappointment after the additional district magistrate and land acquisition officer deposed in court on that date instead of the collector. The High Court again asked the collector to appear before it.

Subsequently, Punia appeared before the court and submitted an affidavit. He stated that some records relating to the land acquisition were missing from the Lefripada tehsil office.

 The case records of the petitioners were not mentioned in the tehsil office register. They might have prepared forged records, the affidavit stated. Later, the petitioners obtained photocopies of the register of Lefripada tehsil office through RTI application and submitted it in court.

The register contained the records of pattas of the petitioners. Eventually, it was proved that the collector had filed a false affidavit.