Land-grab charge against KGB kin

via PNS | Kochi published on August 2, 2011

The Kerala Revenue Department has started efforts to retrieve the Government land reportedly grabbed by PV Sreenijin, son-in-law of former Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan. Sreenijin, a lawyer at the Kerala High Court and a former vice-president of State Youth Congress, is already facing serious charges of illegal wealth amassment.

The Revenue Department has asked the Department of Irrigation to retrieve the 30 cents of land on the banks of River Chalakkudy in Thrissur district, said to have been grabbed by Sreenijin to be attached to the land he had earlier bought for developing into a resort project. Sreenijin has denied the charge.

The Village Officer of Vadakkumuri, Kallur in Annamanada, Thrissur district had inspected the land encroached upon by Sreenijin and had reported the matter to the Mukundapuram Taluk Office under which the area came. The encroachment was found in the subsequent survey conducted by the Taluk Surveyor.

The Village Officer had noticed that steps had been constructed from Sreenijin’s property to the river and the area had been beautified with ornamental lighting. He had also noticed that facilities for pumping water from the river had been installed in the grabbed land.

However, when PD Ramani, Additional Tahsildar, Mukundapuram visited the land, the lights and the water pumping system had been removed from it. Sreenijin said he had not grabbed any land but the Additional Tahsildar asked the Irrigation Department to retrieve the land after hearing his version.

Sreenijin was developing a river-side tourist resort at Annamanada on the 2.5-acre land he had bought in 2008 in his own name. The land was valued at Rs 14 lakh as per registration records but local people in Annamanada said that the land prices there were around Rs 2.5 lakh a cent which meant that the property could have been worth more than Rs 6 crore for that.

The allegation of land encroachment came when Sreenijin was facing probes with regard to the charge that he had amassed huge wealth during the 2006-2010 period, which included the time when his father-in-law Justice Balakrishnan was Chief Justice.

As the Congress candidate in Njarakkal constituency in the 2006 Assembly election, Sreenijin had said in his affidavit submitted to the Election Commission that his total assets were worth Rs 43,000 but between that year and 2010 he had reportedly bought property and buildings worth a minimum of Rs 15 crore in Thrissur and Ernakulam districts.

As per the affidavit, his wife Sony had 29 cents of land worth Rs 3 lakh and 20 sovereigns of gold valued at above Rs 120,000, However, the returns filed with the IT Department in 2009 showed Sreenijin’s annual income as Rs 25 lakh and that of his wife as Rs 15 lakh and the only income source shown was the profession of law.

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