The Revenue Minister stayed the sub-collector’s order, and ordered the Land Revenue Commissioner probe into the issue.

Tpuram sub-collector Divya S Iyer cancels land takeover by tehsildar triggers rowDivya S Iyer (left), Joy MLA (right)
news Controversy Monday, March 19, 2018 - 16:25

The Kerala Revenue Department on Monday stayed an order of Thiruvananthapuram Sub-Collector and Revenue Divisional Officer Divya S Iyer, who cancelled the takeover of 27 cents of land by the Varkala tehsildar.

The dispute relates to the land spread over two survey numbers (3285, 3286) at Airoor in Varkala. However, after a resurvey, confusion arose as the land under question was spread over four survey numbers (224, 225, 226 and 227). The land was then taken over by the tehsildar in July 2017. The land, belonged to an individual, who then approached the Kerala High Court. 

The court then appointed Divya, the sub-collector, to look into the issue. Divya cancelled the takeover of the land by the tehsildar and ordered that the land should be handed over to the individual.

This was contested by Varkala MLA V Joy, who wrote to Revenue Minister E Chandrasekharan on Thursday, and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, where he complained against Divya.

In his complaint, V Joy of the CPI (M) says that Divya arbitrarily cancelled the takeover of 27 cents of  land under the survey number 227, despite the land being owned by the revenue department. 

Following this, the Revenue Minister stayed Divya’s order, and also directed the Land Revenue Commissioner to probe the issue.

According to V Joy’s complaint, Divya’s move flouted established procedures. The complaint also states that the beneficiary of the sub-collector's move is an associate of her husband Sabarinathan, and a close relative of a District Congress Committee member.

The allegation has political implications, as Divya is the wife of Congress MLA KS Sabarinathan, the son of the late senior Congress leader G Karthikeyan.

Joy says that issue was the cancelling of the takeover of all 27 cents of land. According to him, it was the land in one of the survey numbers (227) that was encroached by the individual who approached the court.  

“Even the complainant who approached the court didn’t mention in the petition that the 27 cents of land is owned by him. That plot is actually is on the front portion of the other plots of land owned by him. In his petition, he said that he needs a pathway for his land. Then, why did the sub-collector cancel the takeover of the 27 cents?” he tells TNM.

Divya was unavailable for comment. However, in a Facebook post on Monday, Sabarinathan said that the names of his wife and him were being dragged into the controversy.

"I came to know about this days ago from V Joy MLA. He told me about this in a private conservation. He was convinced when I told him that I am not aware of it as we don't discuss such issues in at home. It is mysterious that Joy himself complained about it, alleging that I have interfered in the issue.

"If there is any complaint about a decision based on court direction and evidence, that should have been dealt with legally. But, it is not politically correct to taint the private life of others with the sole aim of political gain," the post reads.

"As we said, that we don't interfere in each other’s official matters. People have faith in us and we will uphold that faith," the post adds.

Joy, however, says the conversation between him and Sabarinathan, which took place on Thursday,  panned out differently. According to Joy, Sabarinathan said that would examine the issue.

“How can he say that I was convinced after talking to him? It’s a matter of public interest. I am not the person to get convinced. By talking to him, I was informing him that such a serious issue exists. It was on Wednesday evening that I got information that such an issue exists,” he says.



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