May order CBI probe on revenue records going missing from sub-registrar office: Delhi HC - New Delhi News
by IANS | Updated Jan 10, 2023
A bench of Justice Prathiba M. Singh said that since numerous officials are accountable for the missing documents, she may order a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) investigation into the situation.
"I am making it very, very clear that I may order a CBI inquiry into the case, because this is very, very shocking. Not possible that a truckload of documents from the sub-registrar's office can go missing like this. And 15 years later they register an FIR," she said.
The bench listed the matter for next hearing on February 8 and ordered that the Inspector General (IG) Registrations be physically remain present. It further directed the Principal Secretary, Revenue to join the proceedings virtually.
Justice Singh said that she wants a complete list of all the sub-registrars who were functioning during the period.
"The status of the police investigation and FIR registered be also placed on record," she ordered.
The court was dealing with a plea filed by a company called Monk Estates Private Ltd, which claimed that six sale deeds for certain agricultural land were registered in 1994. In February 1995, the petitioner was the beneficiary of mutations, and as a result, it acquired the original sale deeds.
The petitioner, however, lost the documents in 2013 and sought certified copies from the officer of the sub-registrar. The company deposited the required charges as well. In December 2013, the registrar told the company that they did not have the documents.
Later when the petitioner approached the Department of Delhi Archives, it did not have the copies as well.
The petitioner submitted a Right to Information (RTI) request in September 2021, which indicated that the records were unavailable and that the police had lodged a first information report (FIR) in May 2019. The petitioner was only handed two pages of the FIR.
After reviewing the petirion and the FIR, Justice Singh observed that the evidence demonstrate that the officials were aware that these records had vanished but waited 14 years before reporting it to the police.
"Considering that these documents could be misused for sale and purchase transactions, also raised serious concerns about the credibility and integrity of preservation of land records related to citizens itself. Despite having knowledge of all the facts, none of the authorities appear to be taking any action in this regard," she observed.
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