The Bombay high court recently asked the state revenue department how it preserves, maintains and disposes of its documents, especially when government departments are moving towards digital record-keeping.
Acting on a petition filed by Rahul Tanpure, a farmer from Pune, the court directed the principal secretary of the revenue department to file the report within eight weeks.
The state government started acquisition procedure of a part of Tanpure’s land at Dhangwadi of Bhor tehsil in Pune in 2012, said his counsel Rahul Thakur. But the acquisition lapsed as the farmer was neither paid compensation nor the government took possession of the land, said Thakur. To prevent the government from taking possession of his land, Tanpure filed the plea.
Replying to the plea, the tehsildar (revenue officer) of Bhor said under Andershon’s Manual all documents of land acquisition, except the award, are destroyed within a year, and expressed his inability to specifically state whether the government had taken possession of Tanpure’s land.
Shocked, the court refused to accept tehsildar’s arguments and directed the revenue department to conduct an inquiry into his affidavit. The court said in several land acquisition cases, even if they are old, all documents were produced by the revenue department to the court.
It directed the principal secretary of the revenue department to conduct an inquiry into the tehsildar’s stand.