False landlords, bogus tenants in Bangalore eviction racket
The modus operandi is simple and yet daring.
A network of operators creates false documents and claims ownership of primary property. Then, a case is filed in the small causes court, which hears civil cases, for the eviction of a fictitious tenant named by the false owner. Once a favorable decree is obtained, it is used to attempt to forcibly evict the legal owner.
So far, 118 cases have been uncovered in Bangalore, where “false decrees” have been obtained by the nexus comprising a former prosecutor and at least six lawyers, in an investigation by the CID after the racketeering was carried to knowledge of Haut Karnataka. Court last year.
There have been at least 12 arrests so far and the CID is likely to file dozens of cases for forgery, impersonation and deception of courts over the next few days, based on records kept by the clerk. of the small cases court.
The racketeering came to light in November 2020 when the High Court heard a case filed by a private company, Shah Harilal Bikabai and Company, against his eviction from a 100 × 56 square foot property in north Bangalore in 2018 to l ‘help from a court decree for small cases. . The company told the High Court it had owned the land since 1954.
The High Court found that days after the eviction case was filed in the Small Case Court, bogus landlords and tenants claimed to have reached a compromise on the eviction timeline. The false owners have obtained an eviction decree – under police protection – and have taken steps to evict the real occupant.
The company went to the High Court after a police complaint filed in August 2020 failed to stop the eviction process. On November 4, 2020, a Single Judge High Court bench of Judge Krishna Dixit noted that the deportation lawsuit had been filed in the Small Cases Court on April 26, 2018. “… strangely, a compromise decree was issued was obtained on 05/31/2018, absolutely without any explanation for this rocket speed, even when the ink on the pleadings had not yet dried up, ”the High Court said.
Importantly, the High Court also asked the clerk of the small cases court “to initiate a police investigation into this serious matter and to initiate a national investigation against the suspected officials of the court, as fraud, counterfeiting and manufacturing do not generally not occur without the involvement of insiders.
The same month, the clerk filed a complaint with the police. But the investigation only accelerated after the case was turned over to the CID by the state government. On June 26 of this year, Judge Dixit said that despite “the enormity of the scam that was perpetrated by falsifying court records and fabricating the seals of deputy clerks and other offices”, there was no “No progress worth mentioning”.
Subsequently, a division chamber of the High Court headed by then Chief Justice Abhay Sreenivas Oka converted the case to PIL and began monitoring the CID’s investigation. According to High Court records, the CID submitted a report on Aug. 17 stating that notices had been issued to tax authorities to “provide records of prosecution properties involved in 71 small cause cases.”
During the hearing, the Bench Division also ordered that the bar associations be parties to the case due to investigations leading to alleged roles of attorneys. Records show a former prosecutor filed for interim release in the case after at least three lawyers were granted relief.
Small Case Courts are established by states to adjudicate low value civil cases. In the Shah Harilal Bikabai case, records reveal that several people linked to the Small Case Court decree also claimed to be linked to other properties in Bengaluru – either as holders of a General Power of Attorney (GPA), either as land seekers or as a bogus tenant.
For example, a person identified as Sendil Kumar claimed to be the GPA holder of B Mani, the alleged false landowner. Kumar, according to records, is involved in as many as 22 small eviction cases whether as a plaintiff or a tenant. Arun, the alleged bogus tenant in the Shah Harilal Bikabai case, is also a plaintiff or tenant in no less than 31 small legal eviction cases.
Records show that such cases were “resolved” within two days to a maximum of six months.
“Rumor had spread in the real estate industry that a group of agents were able to evict landowners from disputed properties using underhanded methods. The group would get a percentage of the value of a property from those who sought its services or would use false decrees to get money from those who own the disputed property, ”sources said.
“A lot of people had sought the services of this group,” they said.