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NHRC rescinds fine imposed on District Collector

The National Human Rights Commission has rescinded a fine of Rs. 1,000 it imposed on Coimbatore District Collector M. Karunagaran in a case related to distribution of land in Ganapathy for a group of people. A release from the district administration said that the Commission had began probing a complaint sent K.R. Marimuthu, who had alleged that the administration had failed to provide title deeds (pattas) to 41 families that were living for the last 40 years on a two-acre plot in Ganapathy.

The Commission summoned the Collector on August 7, 2012 but he could not appear as the administration had an apprehension that there could be a law and order problem on the day. Mr. Karunagaran, deputed the District Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare Officer, who, however, could not present the case properly.

The Commission subsequently impost a penalty of Rs. 1,000 on the Collector. The Collector then deputed the District Revenue Officer to appear before the Commission the next day to file a status report and also place a request to set aside the order imposing fine.

The Collector then appeared before the Commission in New Delhi on September 14, 2012. Thereafter the Commission set aside the order.

Even as this was in progress, the petitioners sent a representation to the Commission stating that they were happy with the efforts the Collector was taking to provide title deeds to them. A case is pending before the Madras High Court, which is hearing a writ appeal by the land owners.

The release said that considering the efforts taken by the Collector and the reason provided by him for not appearing before the panel on August 2012, the Commission rescinded the fine order.

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