Illegal land grabbing by ruling party MP fraudulently regularized: Lokayukta’s stance lackadaisical

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

A vast area of 12 Acres of very precious public land in the Capital City of Orissa under illegal occupation of Achyut Samant, presently a ruling party MP, who runs an educational business styled KIIT, has been fraudulently regularised.Lokaykta’s stance against this engineered fraudulence is lackadaisical, it seems.

As a dutiful citizen, Orissa Sochana Adhikar Abhijan Chief, eminent RTI activist Pradip Pradhan had raised a dispute against this foul play in the shape of a complaint before the Lokayukta, Orissa vides Case No. LY322/2021.

“……we find no merit in the allegation of complaint that Achyuta Samant, founder of KIIT is in illegal occupation of 12 acres of land worth Rs.250 crores in collusion with the officials of GA & PG Department”, the Lokayukta has said while closing the complaint on 9.3.2022.

From the reply of the State Chief Secretary, the Lokayukta has quoted, “KIIT did enter into litigation with the Estate Officer against the Order of eviction and since many years have passed, the final outcome of litigation is not known.”

When the Chief Secretary of the State admits that the Estate Officer had issued an order to evict Samant from the land encroached by him, and the encroacher had “entered into litigation against the order of eviction”, the final outcome of which is not known, he indirectly confesses that the concerned file is suppressed or missing in the department. The Chief Secretary has bragged that the missing of the file is obvious, “since many years have passed.”

What a great Statement by a great State’s Chief Secretary before the great Lokayukta of the State!

The Chief Secretary has admitted that the eviction order was passed against Samant “many years” ago, but the “outcome” of Samant’s litigation against that eviction order “is not known.” Records in the Lokayukta show that the illegally occupied land in four plots was leased out to Samant on 27.12.2019 and two more plots on 22.1.2021 and 22.7.2021 one by one. This is enough to make one convinced that Samanta’s litigation against the eviction order still stands or had failed “many years” ago. The Chief Secretary is discernibly silent on the failure of Samant’s litigation against the eviction order, which strongly suggests that, despite knowing that a valid eviction order is standing against the land under Samant’s illegal occupation, he, by himself or under orders of ther Chief minister, has allowed the involved landed property of the people to the trespasser Achyut Samant, the Chief Minister’s close friend.

The shenanigans behind this transaction need to be investigated in the best interest of the State. Instead of closing the case lackadaisically, it would have been better for the Lokayukta to order an investigation into conspicuous corruption in this stage-managed lease and to initiate action against the Chief Secretary for not knowing the outcome of the eviction case.

It is sad to see that the purpose of Law is allowed by the Lokayukta to succumb to the imprudence of a Chief Secretary who sans any qualms declares that the “final outcome of the eviction case is not known.”

The Lokayukta should review its own order and let the people know when the final outcome of the eviction case against Achyut Samant was not known, how could the Chief Secretary allot the involved land to the alleged culprit.

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