As the prices of the properties are soaring in the state, the cases of grabbing the land and forging the documents are on rise in Goa. There are numerous properties in Goa which are under litigation due to this kind of activities. Lots of Goans are staying abroad and they have left their land and properties either in the hands of some trusted person or unattended, since they didn’t had a time for these small places, but now due to slack in overseas market and booming property industry in Goa has brought them back to their motherland just to discover that, either they have lost their properties or are it is under some litigation.
The recent case of Mapusa is an eye opener for the people who have left their properties un-unattended or with the mercy of some crooks. According to the news published in the local daily “Mapusa police on Friday arrested three persons in a forgery and cheating case in which property owned by a Porvorim resident was sold to a Mumbai resident by forging documents”. The story goes like this, a year ago owner of this land who is also the complainant now, received the information that someone had sold his land measuring 1400 SQMT in Socorro village by forging the documents, acting on this information he logged the complaint in Mapusa police station after collecting the information from Mapusa Sub-registrar’s office. He was informed by the office that his land was sold on 11th June, 2014 to one Antoinette Gomes from Malad, Mumbai and the mutation of the said land is also done accordingly. The complainant then collected all documents from both departments and filed a complaint at Mapusa police station.
Acting on the complaint, Mapusa police arrested Antoinette Gomes alias Firdose Sayad, 32, resident of Wadala Mumbai from his residence. During the police interrogation she revealed the names of two more accused, Tilsidas Narvekar, 38, Resident of Siolim and Abhijit Das, 46, resident of Socorro. The complaint was registered by Mapusa police in June 2014 but still it took them one year to arrest the culprits and they have been booked under sections 120, 120B, 419, 465, 467, 468, 471 and 420 of IPC, the police sources have informed that some more arrests are likely to be done in this case. The entire operation was done under the guidance of Mapusa Police Inspector Tushar Vernekar who is doing the further investigation in this case.
The sources said that there is big and organized syndicate is working in this field and their main job is to grab the properties belonging to people who are staying abroad and sell them after forging their documents. The unsupervised properties are their main target in this illegal business. According to the news in local daily “Land grab in Porvorim area by forging documents was in the news in December 2013 when Goa’s first Arjuna awardee Dr Otilia Mascarenhas fell prey to the racket. Mascarehnas, an orthopaedic surgeon with super-specialty in sports medicine, practices in Germany. Her property was sold by an impersonator in the name of her deceased uncle Jose Fernandes”.
According to the sources from the office of sub-registrar, under the Indian Registration Act, it is not the responsibility of the civil registrar’s office to verify the owner of the property. The responsibility of the sub-registrar is to see whether the party who executed the submission is the same which is for admission in the presence of the witnesses. This gives a clear message to all those who are either staying abroad or left their properties unattended, may need to take care of their properties on their own and government departments of land and revenue will not be in position to detect the forgery and stop these kinds of illegal activities. Do you find this surprising? Perhaps there are more surprises are waiting for you, cause you never know who is involved into this game at the end of the day. Please do leave your suggestions and comments on this issue and please take care of your own properties in case if you own one in Goa.
Author: Rajesh Ghadge