70 acres grabbed by lawyer through fake will
THE NATURAL heirs to 69.92 acres of agricultural land valued at Rs 70 crore are running from pillar to post to get back their prized land even as police investigations and half a dozen cases are pending in different courts of law for almost 47 years now. In the process, most of the heirs have retired from service while the eldest brother Subhash Koranne is struggling to make ends meet.
The case pertains to Raghunath Koranne who died in 2001 without a will leaving his agricultural land at Arandiya village in Indore tehsil. Raghunath was survived by three sons (including Subhash) and two daughters. Raghunath’s brother Anant who died in 1991 is also survived by two sons and two daughters. The latter are also party to the case pertaining to the farming land.
Advocate R T Thanevala, who is contesting one of Korannnes’ cases, told Hindustan Times that when alive, Raghunath had engaged lawyer Manohar Sharma to look after his revenue matters. Taking advantage of Raghunath’s frail health and the information about his land and family, Sharma made a fake will in 2000 by forging the signature of Raghunath, divesting the natural heirs of his entire property including the agricultural land.
In 2001, he went to Dhulia (Maharashtra) and obtained a power of attorney in his name. On the basis of this forged power of attorney, he attempted to transfer a portion of the agricultural land to Amardeep Grah Nirman Sahkari Sanstha through a Khajrana resident Aslam Patel, which he had sold to them earlier through a registered sale deed. Sharma was externed from Indore district a year back after district administration found him guilty of forgery. The Khajrana police are still investigating the matter even as five different courts are hearing the case.
According to Thanevala, it all started when Raghunath in his lifetime had allowed Narayan and Badrilal to cultivate 17.05 acres from his total land on profit sharing basis for 11 months. Likewise, he had granted rights to cultivate 36.69 acres of land to two farmer brothers Dulichand and Gendaram while another 11.69 acres to another farmer Kanhaiyyalal for period of 11 months.
In 1960, Raghunath moved an application at the court of Indore Sub Divisional Officer (SDO) for resumption of his land from Narayan, Badrilal, Dulichand and Gendalal. In 1966, he moved a similar application at the SDO court for resumption of his land from Kanhaiyyalal. At present, these cases are pending with Board of Revenue and Additional Divisional Commissioner for disposal.
In 1999, Dulichand filed a civil suit against Koranne before XI Civil Judge Class II for declaration of title and injunction on the land he tilled. While this case was being heard, Dulichand moved an application in 2004 wherein he said that a part of the agricultural land has been sold by power of attorney to Amardeep housing co-operative society through Patel on March 11, 1998.
Shocked, Koranne’s successors told court that their late father or uncle did not execute any power of attorney nor sell any portion of land. They argued that the power of attorney was made in Dhulia though all of them reside in Indore. So they filed a civil suit before Fifth Civil Judge Class II Deepak Pandey through counsel Jayant Vipat for cancellation of power of attorney and the registered sale deed.
The Koranne family came to know of the forged will after six years of Raghunath’s death when Manohar Sharma applied for the probate of the will in 2006 and court issued notices to them in this regard.
This matter is still pending before XI Additional District Judge P K Godha where the family through Thanevala has challenged it saying that Raghunath always signed in Modhi (old script no more in use) though the forged will shows his signature in Hindi.