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11 Feb 2017

3 held for hill land fraud

Vivek Chhetri, TT, Darjeeling, Feb. 10: The CID has arrested two retired government employees from Darjeeling for allegedly conspiring and selling a prime plot near Dali in Darjeeling, which originally belonged to Virgina Mary Nandy, one of the first female doctors in the country.
D.T. Lepcha, 64, a retired amin of the land and land reforms department, and Tejbir Tamang, 61, a retired head clerk of the registration department, were arrested by the CID, along with Chandrika Sharma, 45, a resident of Salbari in Siliguri, on February 6.
The trio were today produced in the chief judicial magistrate's court of Joydip Bhattacharjee and sent to 14 days' judicial custody.
Achinta Bagchi, assistant public prosecutor (in charge of the CJM court), said: "The CID is investigating the case and there are allegations that forged documents were used to transfer the land documents without the knowledge of the original owner. There were benami transactions before the plot was sold to a builder in Darjeeling for around Rs 1.5 crore."
According to information gathered from multiple sources in the district administration, the district court and the CID, Virgina Mary Nandy had transferred 1.93 acres of land, which had a bungalow also, to his daughter-in-law Lilian Provash Nolini Nandi.
In 2012, Tamang was approached by two brokers from Siliguri with a map of the land for registration, following which Tamang directed the duo to Lepcha to help verify the documents, a source said.
At the same time, the probe revealed, the Darjeeling subdivisional office also received a request from one "Pradip Chand Nandi" with an affidavit from Calcutta Metropolitan Court saying he was the heir to Lilian. "Pradip" also submitted his voter and PAN cards and the death certificates of Lilian Nandi and her husband issued by the Kolkatta Municipal Corporation.
The documents were submitted to prove that since Lilian and her husband had died, "Pradip" was the only heir and the land should be transferred to his name.
Investigators believe that all the documents are fake.
The land was transferred to "Pradip" and subsequently, the two brokers allegedly offered Tamang and Lepcha the land for Rs 20 lakh. Tamang and Lepcha, the investigators said, however, registered the plot in the names of three others, one being the former's relative and the other being Chandrika Sharma, the acquaintance of the latter. The third person was an acquaintance of the two brokers.
Tamang and Lepcha registered the land in the names of three others as the duo were from the Scheduled Tribe and it would be difficult for them to sell the land later.
In 2016, the two brokers, Tamang, Lepcha, and Sharma allegedly sold off the property to a construction firm in Darjeeling for more than Rs 1.5 crore.
When the construction firm started work, the real heir to Lilian, Probodh Chandra Nandi, came to know of the land sale. Tito Tarafdar, a relative of Probodh, then lodged a complaint at the Darjeeling Sadar police station and the case was handed over to the CID.
Sources have requested that the name of the two brokers and other actors in the alleged fraud be kept confidential for the sake of investigation and further arrests.
Dinesh Chandra Rai, defence lawyer, said: "As per my opinion, the three individuals have been falsely implicated in this case. We will move a bail petition in the CJM court on February 23."

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