SANCOALE: In what could be termed a major land scam, the State authorities are dragging their feet on the Prime Minister’s office’s directions to inquire into the allegations of a scam in the Zuari sale, which is termed the biggest land scam of Goa.
After a letter from a social activist on October 17, 2020,
the PMO office, on 17/11/2020, had asked Goa Chief Secretary to look into the matter and also reply to the petitioner and the PMO office.
Following this letter, the Chief Secretary forwarded the letter to the Revenue Department and the Under Secretary forwarded that to the Collector South, who sent it to Dy Collector Mormugao.
Dy Collector Momugao, who in turn asked Mamlatdar to submit a detailed report on January 29, 2021.
Two months later, on March 24, 2021, said the complaint pertains to the allotment of Sancoale Communidade land “as such, the complaint may be forwarded to the office of the Administrator of communidade South Zone for comments and for needful.”
Three months later, on June 9, 2021, Dy Collector Collector Mormugao wrote to Sancoale Communidade to inquire into the matter.
Again on July 22, 2021, Dy Collector Land Acquisition wrote to the Sanale Communidade Administrator to inquire into the matter.
But since July 22, the Sancoale Communidade has been sitting on the matter and even after a reminder by the Revenue Department in December, the Sancoale Communidade is yet to submit an Action Taken Report.
Letter to the PMO
“I, the undersigned major shareholder of Sancoale Communicate, would bag to draw your kind attention to the above-stated subject matter that M/s.Zuari Agro Chemicals Ltd & Zuari Group of Companies have started misusing Sancoale Comunidade Land ( Common Gaonkaries Land ) for their private profit by converting the use of Land from Fertilizer to Sale / Transfer / Exchange / Sub lease / Real Estate etc,” activist Narayan Naik wrote.
He said Zuari Company Land, admeasuring about 500.00 Hectares in question at most, has been granted to M/s.Birla Gwalior Ltd for installation of their Fertiliser project on a yearly rent basis of “1 Paisa per sq. Meter per year & that rent should be of 2 Paisa per sq. meter in case of the Area situated within a radius of 50 meters of a National High way under Construction” on 30 Years Lease upon the term & Conditions approved by the General body in its Shareholders meeting held on 10/11/1968. ( Copy of the Administration of Comunidades report dated 14/11/1968 on General body meeting & Copy of the report by Collector & DCA Office dated 15/11/1968 is enclosed for your reference & action)
SYNOPSIS/ CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS
An application for permanent leased/purchase of Sancoale Comunidade land for an area of 500 hectares to set up a fertiliser project was made by M/s. Birla Gwalior Pvt. Ltd, vide its letter dated 10.09.1968 to the Lt. Governor Goa, was received on 13.09.1968, through the Administrator of Salcete Mormugao- Goa.
Secretary to Administration of Comunidades of South Goa issued notice dated 13.09.1968 under Article 330 of Code of Comunidades, for publication on Government Gazette for inviting objections in respect to setting up of fertiliser project. The said advertisement was published on Govt. Gazette bearing No. 23, III series dated 26.09.1968.
One objection was received by the Administrator of Communidades from one Mr. Francisco Joaquim das bores Barreto. The said objection was regarding access to the other lessees from the plots granted to the M/s Birla Gwalior Pvt. Ltd.
A report bearing No: 30/C was prepared by the Administrator of Comunidades of Salcete concerning the application to grant Sancoale Communindade land for the installation of a fertiliser project based on the resolution adopted by the Managing Committee of the Communidade of Sancoale. It is pertinent to note that the meeting of the managing committee could not be held even after the second date was fixed for want of quorum, and only after the meeting was held in the presence of a larger number of components a unanimous resolution was passed on 10.11.1968, to grant the communidade plots to M/s Birla Gwalior. The Administrator of Communidade was of the opinion to grant the communidade Land to M/s Birla Gwalior for setting up of the Fertilizer project.
The Collector and DC. An office was pleased to recommend to Govt. to approve the resolution of the Managing Committee based on the report submitted by the Administrator of Communidade for grant of Land of an area of 500 hectares to M/s Birla Gwalior for setting up of fertiliser project. The said approval is required under section 30(4) read with section 31 of the Code of Communindade.
The office of the Collector & DCA Panaji, vide its letter dated 07.01.1969, informed the Administrator of Comunidades Salcete that Govt. has approved the grant proposal of on lease for installation of fertiliser project by Birla Gwalior Ltd. The said letter also informed that the approval is subject to terms and conditions imposed by the Communidade of Sancoale. Further, the said letter suggests that communidade should enter into a lease agreement with Birla Gwalior Ltd.
M/s Birla Gwalior Ltd. Addressed another letter dated08/01/1969 to the Administrator of Communidade requesting to include additional plot numbers, i.e. lot No. 5, 57, 58, 64, 70 (part) after the decision of Shareholders in the General body meeting dated 10/11/1968. The request for additional plots was that they required it for the purpose of (a) water storage and (b) access to the railway line.
Dodging all the norms and provisions of the Code and overruling Government direction, the then Administrator himself entered into a lease agreement with M/s Birla Gwalior and presented the same before Sub-Register of Mormugao on 14/02/1969 and the same was registered on 25/02/1969, without making Sancoale Communidade a party to the said Deed. Further requested plots were added in the said Deed without official publication on Govt. Gazette nor the said request letter dated 07.01.1969 was forwarded to Communidade of Sancoale so that it could be placed before shareholders General body meeting and get it approved. Therefore there is no resolution of the Communidade of Sancoale in respect to the additional plots i.e. lot No. 5, 57, 58, 64, 70 (part). The said lease agreement executed by the Administrator is contrary to the conditions agreed upon by the Communidade of Sancoale to grant the property and which conditions were known to both the Administrator as well as the Birla Gwalior; however, inspite of this deliberately and clandestinely, certain new conditions were incorporated in the lease deed which is against the interest of the Communidade. One of the conditions incorporated was that the Birla Gwalior was given the option to purchase the property by paying an amount equivalent to 20 years of lease rent.
After coming to know the fraud committed in the lease agreement, the Govt. of Goa, vide its letter dated 28.11.1969, directed the Collector of Goa to immediately instruct the Administrator of Communindade of Salcete and Communidae of Sancoale not to allow M/s Birla Gwalior Pvt. Ltd to exercise their right of option of purchase as provided in the lease agreement, nor should the company be allowed to assign the lease in favour of any party until further orders.
Further, the Collector was informed to ask Administrator Salcate to explain how he could execute a lease agreement which contains conditions which are neither approved by the Govt. nor are admissible in the Code of Communidade.
The Collector and DCA Panaji vide letter dated 29.11.1969, informed the President Communidade of Sancoale and Administrator of Communidade Salcete not to allow M/s Birla Gwalior to exercise their right of option of purchase as provided in the lease agreement nor should the company be allowed to assign the lease in favour of any party until further orders of the Govt.
Further also directed the Administrator of Communindade to send his explanation in the matter of the lease agreement with M/s Birla Gwalior.
In spite of the Order of the Govt. not to exercise their right of option of purchase as provided in the lease agreement, nor should the company be allowed to assign the lease in favour of any party until further orders, M/s Birla Gwalior entered into an Indenture of Assignment dated 12.12.1969, with M/s Zuari Agro Chemicals Limited and transferred all the property which it obtained for the purpose of setting up fertiliser project.
Zuari agro chemicals company vide its letter dated 24/04/1970, informed the Administrator of Communidade that a deed of the indenture of assignment has been executed by Birla Gwalior company in favour of them and therefore requested to conduct site inspection if necessary & arrange to give them permanent possession as per provisions of the lease agreement.
Zuari Agro company approached Escrivao of Sancoale Comunidade vide its letter dated 04.09.1970 for the remission of taxes on its name in respect to 500 hectares of Comunidade Land leased to Birla Gwalior company by the then Administrator.
A resolution was passed by the managing committee of the Sancoale communidade in its extraordinary shareholder’s meeting on 31.01.1971 for approval of remission of the taxes of Zuari Agro, and a notice was published in Govt. Gazette for holding, based on the application signed by one Caetano Manual De Souza & others, stating the advantages to Sancoale Comunidade if it approves remission of taxes of the leased Land given on permanent lease to Birla Gwalior company (Zuari Agro Chemicals ) for their fertiliser project.
Vide letter dated 22/03/1971, office of Collector Panaji informed the Administrator that Lt. Governer of Goa vide its Order dated 11/03/1971, has decided that the stay order on a lease agreement with Birla Gwalior company contained in Govt. letter dt.28/11/1969 has been vacated. The said letter does not contain the revenue department communication number or reference number nor has the Revenue department secretary informed the Collector in this regard. Further, the Collector also did not enclose Governor’s Order dated 11.03.1971 to his letter dated 22.03.1971, addressed to the Administrator. The Governor’s Order is also not available in the Birla Gwalior company process file maintained by the Administrator’s office.
The Administrator of Communidade executed the conveyance deed with Zuari Agro Chemicals Limited, thereby selling the entire plots as mentioned in the lease deed. The Administrator had neither power nor authorisation to execute the lease deed nor the conveyance deed on behalf of the Sancoale Communidade. Further, an amount of Rs. 10,30,000/- was also accepted by the Administrator and credited on the same day, i.ie. 31.03.1971, to the treasury of the Sancoale Communidade being amount equivalents to 20 years lease rent of the said property, which is otherwise not permissible under the Code. Further, a certificate of payment was also obtained, which was endorsed by the Administrator.
Zuari Agro Chemicals Limited changed its name to Zuari Industries limited.
Communidade of Sancoale filed a suit against Zuari Industries Limited company on the ground that Zuari Industries Limited is still a lessee and not the owner of the property and cannot sell or transfer the said properties to any person. The said case was registered as Special Civil Suit No: 18/2003/A, Vasco- Goa.
The Hon’ble Civil Judge Senior Division at Vasco was pleased to dismiss the Suit vide Judgment dated 12.09.2011.
Communidade of Sancoale filed an appeal before the Hon’ble High Court of Bombay at Goa, and the same was registered as the first appeal No: 73/2012.
Zuari Industries Limited changed its name to Zuari Global limited.
Zuari Global limited executed a Deed of exchange with M/s Trinitas Realtors India private Limited vide Deed of exchange dated 28.05.2013, bearing registration No: 884, of pages 143 to 164 of Book –I Vol. No. 1550, before the Sub-registrar Mormugao in respect to survey No: 197/1,198/1 and 194/1-A of Village Sancoale.
M/s Trinitas Realtors India private Limited vide agreement to sale dated 27.01.2014, registered before the Sub-registrar Mormugao sold property bearing survey No: 197/1 to M/s Shantilal Real Estate Services.
The Hon’ble Court vide its Judgment dated 29.06.2015, was pleased to dismiss the appeal on the ground that Communidade did not challenge the findings of the Judgment in Smt. Basilia Gomes versus Zuari Agro Chemicals Limited dated 05.08.2014 nor disputed the claim of the Zuari Agro in respect to disputed property, the question of examining such aspects in the present appeal would not arise.
The said Judgment of the Hon’ble High Court is unchallenged by the then Managing Committee even though the Shareholders of Sancoale Communidade in their General body meeting passed a resolution to challenge the same in the Supreme Court & even after approval from the Administrator vide office order dated 28/10/2015
The above-stated matter was brought to the notice of the Administrator vide my Complain dated 07/12/2015 & CC of the Complain been forwarded to the Chief Secretary & the Supt. Of Police, Directorate of Vigilance, ACB branch for necessary action, but all the Govt. authorities failed to act on my Complain as all the concerns from various authorities were working in Collusion with Zuari Group of Companies to safeguard their personal interest.
He said after he had filed No’s of Correspondence with various Govt. authorities, authorities turned their Eyes blank on all the illegal activities carried out by Zuari Group of Companies on the Fertilizer project land.
Now latest on 14/10/2020, he had given “Reminder -1” with Subject High legal Corruption & Setting / Fixing in the South Goa District of Administration Office & South Goa Administrator of Comunidades Office on Sale / Transfer / Lease /Exchange / Mortgage of Sancoale Comunidade Land which was allotted only for Setting up of Fertiliser Project to Zuari Agro Chemicals Ltd with reference to my last representation dated 04/05/2020 to The Hon’ble Governor, The Chief Minister, The Chief Secretary, The Under Secretary (P.G.) Government of Goa.
At Present, Zuari Group of Companies had already leased out nearly 200.00 Hectares of Land from Comunidade that was allotted/ Granted to them for setting up of the Fertilizer project only. They leased out it to different Firms for Crores of Rupees on yearly Rent. This is a totally Misuse of the Land by Zuari Agro Chemicals Ltd on Pritex of Fertiliser Project name.
Whereas Zuari Agro Chemicals Company had given a detailed reply dated 07/03/1973 to the Administrator of Comunidades on the Area of the Land actually occupied by them for Fertiliser Project out of 500.00 Hectares which was granted to them by the Administrator on behalf of Sancoale Comunidade.
Reply as below.
(1) Factory Area – – – – – 35 Hectares
(2) Railway siding – – – – – 15 Hectares
(3) Lake & Water reservoir – – – 130 Hectares
(4) Housing. Colonies – – – – 80 Hectares
(5) Area restricted for Construction due – – – 150 Hectares
to Air Craft flights funnel regulations
(6) Area unavailable for Construction due – – 30 Hectares
to steep Slopes & irregular shapes
(7) Area available for further expansion– – – 100.9 Hectares.
TOTAL AREA – – – – :- 540.9 HECTARES
Now, the Land which was taken for the fertiliser Project is on sale.
Even the Fertilizer Project with 35.00Hectares Of Land deal with Paradeep Phosphates Ltd is in the final stage of Sale @₹2135Crore. Zuari swindled extra Comunidade Land in nexus with politicians & consolidation authorities. It’s a big Land Scam; even after 50 years of Fertiliser project Establishment on Comunidade Land, they used hardly 35.00 Hectares of Land from the 500.00 Hectares & other balance nearly 200.00 Hectares land they had leased out & now Zuari Group of Companies had already started Land Mela with the help of Some Corrupt minded Local Politicians/MLA/Ministers/builders/Developers/Dalal in this #COVID_19_LOCKDOWN.
They have already started Marketing for Zuari Group of Companies 200.00 Hectares of Land by Converting large parcels of Grazing, Eco-Sensitive, Bio-Diversity Land into Small Plots @12 to 15 K. per sq. mtrs. Due to mass Distraction of Forest Area, Leopard, Tiger & other forest Animals are entering into Residential Area. Goa Govt. Duplicity on alloting 500.00Hectares of Sancoale Comunidade land @One Paisa per sq. mtrs rent per year to Fertiliser project is only for State Economy reason & not to sale. While actually, it means for Private Profit to Zuari Group of Companies.
Now if we Sancoalekars/ Shareholders of Sancoale Comunidade allows Zuari Group of companies to do this so then very soon it will harm to our Sancoale Village, as at present we are facing a lot of Garbage, sewage, water, electricity & other infrastructure problem due to this Zuari Company.
They had brought all the Mega Projects on Zuari Plateau by selling Comunidade prime land to Builders & developers. They made Thousands of Crore Rupees Profit on the Sale of Comunidade Land & Our Goa Government & Comunidade are still Continuing to be mere Spectators to all this Blatant Sale of Comunidade Land by the Zuari Company.
This Public Utility lands in the Village were used for the common benefits of the Villagers of the Village, such as Ponds for Various purposes. e.g. for their Cattle to drink & baths, for storing their harvested grain, as Grazing ground for the Cattle, threshing floor, Maidan for playing by Children, Carnivals, Circuses, Cart stand, Water bodies, Cremation ground, Graveyards etc.
Sancoale Comunidade General Body had indeed adopted a resolution to grant 500.00 Hectares of Land to Birla Gwalior on 30 years lease with yearly Rent as per their proposal of the Land for Fertiliser project, but it doesn’t mean that the right of the Communidade over it were taken away.
Narayan Naik said since independence, however, that in large parts of Goa, this Common Comunidade Gaonkaries land has been grabbed by unscrupulous people using Muscle power, money power, or political Clout & Zuari Agro Chemicals Ltd is One of thems. They systematically Encroached upon Comunidade land & put Land to use totally inconsistent with its original Character for their personal Aggrandisement at the Cost of the Village Community (Sancoale Comunidade) for their Private Profit. This was done with active Connivance of State Authorities & some powerful Vested interests MLAs, Ministers in the Goa Government & Some Corrupt minded developers/builders. This appeal is a glaring example of this Lamentable State of Affairs.