Selling Your Land, You Are Not Aware Part-I

The absence of any mechanism to check the title of any property that is being sold has resulted in quite a number of people getting the rude shock of their property being usurped by some unknown person and a well established nexus between authorities and unscrupulous elements carrying on this trade is proving quite frustrating for the victims as the police too do not take their task seriously. Goa Chronicle.com brings you one such case regarding a property in Porvorim within the jurisdiction of the Village Panchayat of Salvador do Mundo.

As per the original survey records, the property under Survey No. 161/1 of village Salvador do Mundo which admeasures 2,775 square metres belongs to three persons and the property under Survey No. 162/1 admeasuring 14,100 square metres belongs to 13 different persons including one Ana Severina Pereira.

Somewhere in the late nineties, the survey records were tampered with to prepare a Form I & XIV showing only Ana Severina Pereira as the occupant of both the properties. In the case of property under Survey No. 161/1, Ana Severina Pereira’s name does not feature in the original records while in the case of Survey no. 162/1, the names of the other 12 co-owners were not included. Besides, with regards to the fraudulent document pertaining to Survey No. 161/1, the area was changed to 3,200 square metres. In fact the Mamlatdar of Bardez has acknowledged that the two documents are not the original documents.

Armed with these fraudulent documents, the two properties have been sold to different people and even mortgaged with banks for loans. The other owners of the two properties were not aware of what was happening and only woke up to the reality on 4th November 2003 when the Mapusa Urban Co-operative Bank published a notice in the Navhind Times listing these two properties amongst many others to be attached for non-payment of loans.

Various other banks have also disbursed loans as the same properties amongst others, have been mortgaged with them.

In fact, the Bank of India Patto Branch lodged a complaint with the police against Rudolfo Crasto and two others for defrauding it to the tune of Rs. 56 lakhs and though the other owners have been following up this complaint for the last two years, the Criminal Investigation Department that is investigating the case has not done much.

According to Dr. Meenacshi Martins, one of the co-owners of property under Survey No. 162/1, the CID has not even bothered to get a copy of the original survey records and its officials have been asking the co-owners to tell them where Rudolfo can be found as he has been proclaimed to be an absconder.

Besides, the fraudulent Form I & XIV, Rudolfo Crasto has also prepared other fraudulent documents and even executed Deeds of Sale using an imposter to represent Ana Severina Pereira which can be seen that her signature in the fraudulent Sale Deeds differs from her actual signature and in some cases, she has not signed but only used her thumb impression.

Yet another fraud that has been uncovered by the other co-owners is misrepresentation to the Sub-Registrar to sell properties belonging to Ana Severina Pereira who was known to be a well established land lady with many properties.

The other co-owners have come across a Deed of Sale dated 25th January 2007 executed by one Diogo Fernandes as Attorney of Ana Severina Pereira, wherein a property under Survey No. 161/7 of Village Salvador do Mundo, admeasuring 1,425 square metres has been sold to one Abhishek Budhraj Gupta for a sum of Rs. 4,50,000.

The irony is that Ana Severina Pereira had died on 1st January 2005 and a power of attorney, if at all executed by her, is not valid after her death and yet the Sale Deed was executed on 25th January 2007, six years after her death.

What is shocking is that Diogo Fernandes still continues to sell the properties using the Power of Attorney of a dead person and nobody is taking any action against him as the police are dilly dallying with their investigations despite being informed about all these facts and also shown all the relevant documents.

The actual owners of the land are now pushed into protecting their land by ensuring that nobody trespasses into it given the fact that it has been fraudulently sold to third parties and also have to battle it out with the banks that are trying to take possession of the properties of offset the bad debt incurred by them for the loans disbursed using the properties as security.

That this whole fraud had the blessings of politicians who got the bureaucrats to manipulate the documents has been revealed by some of the characters involved in this scam and probably that is the reason why the police are dragging their feet with the investigations.


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