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Register criminal complaint for false info for legal heirship certificate: HC

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Chennai, May 14 (PTI) The Madras High Court has directed the Commissioner of Revenue Administration to issue circular/instructions to all the competent Revenue Authorities across Tamil Nadu to register criminal complaint, if anyone has submitted application seeking legal heirship certificate by suppressing material facts or by furnishing false information.

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Justice S M Subramaniam gave the directive in a recent order, while disposing of a petition filed by M Marannan, which sought to quash the order passed by the Tahsildar, Mettupalayam, Coimbatore, rejecting his application for Legal Heir Certificate.

The judge said the details regarding the false information and suppression of facts have to be collected by the competent authorities and criminal complaints have to be registered.

The circular should be issued within five weeks.

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The judge said in the event of failure on the part of the competent Revenue Authorities to prosecute the offenders under Criminal Law, the Commissioner of Revenue Administration/Competent Authority shall initiate appropriate disciplinary proceedings against such officials for dereliction of duty, lapses and negligence on their part. If any practices of abetment to commit offences were identified then the Government officials were also liable to be prosecuted under Criminal Law, the judge added.

Claiming that he was the only legal heir of one late Maranna Gowder, the petitioner submitted an application for issuance of a Legal Heirship Certificate. The revenue authorities conducted an inquiry and found that the deceased Maranna Gowder has four legal heirs i.e., his two sons and two daughters. Therefore, the revenue authorities rejected his application for suppression of fact regarding all the legal heirs of deceased Marana Gowder when four legal heirs were alive. Hence, the petitioner has filed the present petition.

The judge said recently, courts were coming across many such cases where false details were provided and suppression of facts were noticed, for the purpose of securing Legal Heirship Certificate. Through such Legal Heirship Certificates, valuable properties were transferred and revenue records were mutated.

Considering the facts that large scale illegalities and irregularities were noticed in the public domain and the Revenue authorities were struggling to identify the true facts relating to the legal heirs since they were residing in far off places, the person who all were suppressing the facts relating to the legal heirs of any deceased person were liable to be prosecuted under criminal law, the judge added.

Furnishing false information and suppression of facts for the purpose of securing Legal Heirship Certificate was an offence contemplated under the Indian Penal Code. PTI CORR SA

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