Centre acts on fake order circulating on WhatsApp, lodges police complaint

Union cabinet secretariat department files complaint with Delhi Police on a fake government order circulating on social media. The letter talks about digitising land records and subsequently linking them with Aadhaar.

india Updated: Jun 20, 2017 15:54 IST
Ruchir Kumar
Ruchir Kumar
Hindustan Times, Patna
WhatsApp,Aadhaar,land records
The cabinet secretariat department has lodged a complaint with Delhi police over a fake government order on digitising land records, circulating on the social media. (Sonu Mehta/ Hindustan Times)

A purported government order, viral on the social media, advising states and Union territories to digitise land records and subsequently link them with Aadhaar, has prompted the Union cabinet secretariat department to lodge a complaint with the Delhi police.

The letter, purportedly signed by an undersecretary, advised chief secretaries, additional chief secretaries of states and Union territories to complete digitisation of land records, mutation, sale and purchase records of any immovable property, including land and houses, from 1950.

It further said that the government, by an Act of Parliament, was considering linking Aadhaar numbers with the ownership of said properties. “The properties which are not linked shall be considered for appropriate action under the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amended Act, 2016,” the letter, dated June 15, said.

The government ‘order’ being circulated on social media. (WhatsApp image)

Taking cognizance of the letter, undersecretary to government of India, cabinet secretariat, Sheo Nath Singh, lodged an FIR with the Delhi police on Monday.

While Singh could not be contacted as he was attending a training session in Faridabad, an official in the cabinet secretariat, requesting anonymity, said: “The letter is fake. We have not issued any such order. The signatory of the purported letter lodged a police complaint yesterday and investigations are on.”

“The pattern of the letter and the officer’s signature are almost the same, though it is not as courteous as our official letters. Someone who is familiar with government procedure has faked it,” the official added.

Earlier, Bihar chief secretary Anjani Kumar Singh told HT, “I don’t remember any such letter having come to my attention. You may like to cross-check with the department of revenue and land reforms or the rural development.”

HT shared the letter on WhatsApp with the principal secretary, revenue and land reforms, Bihar, Vivek Kumar Singh, who promptly replied, “Not received any such letter.”

First Published: Jun 20, 2017 15:54 IST