Hyderabad: Anti-Corruption Bureau officers caught Deputy Tahsildar Sriramoju Sandeep Kumar — serving at the Revenue Department in Huzurabad of Karimnagar — red-handed accepting a bribe of Rs 75,000.
The revenue officer demanded kickbacks from Adla Joji Reddy to grant the NALA conversion certificate pertaining to the latter’s land issued by the Revenue District Office. NALA conversion is a certificate converting a non-agricultural land to agricultural. The officers arrested Sandeep Kumar based on Joji Reddy’s complaint and produced the Deputy Tahsildar before a Special Court for ACB cases.
However, constant concern has not changed much even after the horrifying incident at Abdullapurmet where an aggrieved farmer burnt Tahsildar Vijaya Reddy alive. The episode also claimed the life of the officer’s driver, personal assistant, and the farmer himself.
Beginning in 2018, the Anti-Corruption investigating agency has trapped 49 revenue employees in 23 months. Data revealed that they had booked the most bribe cases against Revenue District Officers, Village Revenue Officers and Tahsildars. An independent study showed that bribe demands range from Rs 2000 to Rs 4 lakh, depending on the nature of work, the extent of the land, and urgency.
Notably, the Telangana state government’s Land Records Updation Programme (LRUP) and the process of issuing new pattadar passbooks have led to problems for both farmers and officials. Corrupt officers demand bribe mostly for the mutation of land, sanction for financial assistance under Kalyana Laxmi scheme, and change of name in pattadar book. They also require money for the online entry of agricultural land and to survey land boundaries.
A bribe is demanded for the following reasons:
- To update land records
- For entering land details online and to issue pattadar passbooks
- To hand over original proceedings of agriculture land mutation
- To get mutation done and to issue pattadar passbooks
- To issue land conversion certificate