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Senior IAS officer among 10 chargesheeted by CBI in graft case

Puducherry: A senior IAS officer in Puducherry and nine others have been charge sheeted by the CBI in an alleged land scam related to sale of government land in 2009-10.

Anti-Corruption wing of CBI, Chennai, filed the charge sheet yesterday before special CBI court judge C V Karthikeyan here against Education and Local Administration Secretary G Ragesh Chandra, the then District Collector of Puducherry, and nine others, police said.

The ten, including some other government officials, have been charged with criminal conspiracy and cheating among others in the alleged unauthorised and fraudulent sale of 5.6 hectares of government land to private individuals.

The land in Pillayarkuppam in neighbouring Bahoor taluk was provided by the government under an agreement to a private paper mill in 1977 to set up the unit. As per an agreement, in the event of the mill being wound up the firm should re-convey the land to the government.

The company running the mill was wound up in 2001 and it applied to the government for permission to dispose off the land allotted to it. However, the land was later sold to a real estate businessman without permission from the government.

CBI had filed an FIR last year and took up investigation. It was alleged that then Sub-registrar of Bahoor M Venkatesan, the then District Registrar A V Subramanian, the real estate company`s Managing Director Manirathinam and Ragesh Chandra among others entered into a conspiracy to dishonestly sell the land between 2009 and 2010.

The accused have been charged for offences under IPC sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating) 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and also under the Prevention of Corruption Act, police said.