IAS Taradatt refutes land scam charges

Bhubaneswar: Senior IAS officer Taradatt on Monday refuted land scam charges against him.

Giving details to the media, he said he had decided to buy a piece of land in Odisha 22 years ago when he was the joint secretary, state Tribal Welfare department.

“I had bought 0.10 acres of land from one Uchhab Sahu at a cost of Rs 67,055. I had done the sale deed after examining the right and title of the land. I was never involved either with the Revenue department or the General Administration department for the purchase of the land. After receiving the permission from the tehsil office for mutation of the land, I had got the patta of the land in 1993”, Taradatt said.

Notably, Taradatt has been served notice in the case by the court of Member, Board of Revenue.

Sources in the Revenue department said Ucchab Sahu had managed to record the title of this valuable land in his name through manipulation in 1962 with the help of the then tehsildar and other officials. The land, which was under the General Administration (GA) department, was listed under the kissam (category) of Jhadi Jungle (roughly meaning bushy forest). Later, Sahu sold the land in parts to 53 persons at different points of time.

After coming to know abut the notice, the GA department had filed a petition in the court of the Member, Board of Revenue to bring back the land into the records of the government. Admitting the petition, the Member-Board of Revenue, served notices to all sellers and buyers of the land.

Besides Taradatt, another senior IAS officer, SN Tripathy, who is now on Central deputation, has also been served with a similar notice by the same court.