The same set of Goans are involved in the majority of the deeds where the owners have “signed” after their death

May 29, 2022 | 07:01 IST

The dead don’t talk but they sign: the same group of Goans are involved in the majority of the deeds where the owners have “signed” after their death

It is estimated that more than one million square meters were seized using false signatures; The real owners of these lands are demanding justice.

ASMITA POLJI

MAPUSA: Those who investigate widespread cases of fraudulent land sales are intrigued to find an identical set of people who “bought” and sold “land to the original landowners (many of them, as mentioned in the first part of this story, were either dead, or were five years old when the land was sold, or not even born (when the sale was affected).

The most common names found on all Forms I and IV documents and bills of sale are:

Lenchu ​​K. James and Siddhesh Sadashiv Parab as one group.

The second group of people are Antonia Francisca Pereira, Antonio Martinho Diniz, Diogo Roberto Rodrigues, Maria Anton D’Souza, Maria Joaqueina Carwalho and Paulina Juliana Diniz.

And the third and most common are Branca Cassiana Diniz aka Branca Rodrigues, Paulina Juliana Diniz aka Palmira Gonsalves, Mariano Antonio Teles Gonsalves and Royson Rodrigues.

In one incident, a prosecutor’s grandmother was appointed as a proxy when she is already deceased. She died in 1979 and the act was signed in 1996.

THE MODUS OPERANDI

There are a few names that are commonly found in almost 90% of cases, and they belong to two families. A family is originally from Ponda. They use the method of creating fake deeds of sale in Portuguese and seize the property by transferring them in the name of one of the members and then sell the properties by themselves showing that the land is sold by providing different addresses.

Under the transfer process, a request for transfer is filed after which notices to affected parties are mailed for objections. If no objection is received from the parties, a public notice is inserted in the newspapers.

The lawyer fighting the cases on behalf of the owners said all deed insertions are done during the lockdown.

Although the numbers are much higher, 45 clear cases of land grabbing have been reported in Assagao, Badem, Anjuna and Parra in the past two months, where most properties have been transferred by culprits rewriting the deed of sale in Portuguese.

However, in all these 45 cases, the Mamlatdar concerned acted in a bizarre way.

In such a case, an old deed from 1951 is taken where the owners sold the property before they were even born. The transfer request was filed on March 7. On the same day, the affidavit is filed and the Mamlatdar erases it when the signatures of the parties are missing. Notices are sent to fake addresses without house numbers.

“Everything is done brazenly because they don’t care about anything. It’s a total travesty of the system,” an Augustus lawyer said.

There are cases where, the names of people who were not even born at the time of the signing of the deed were mentioned in the deed of sale while in some cases, of deceased people, their signatures are found on the acts.

The real owners of these lands in the jurisdiction of Anjuna, Badem and Assagao are currently going through a difficult time and are demanding justice. If these people go to court, it will take at least 8-10 years to settle the case. There are few owners who are elderly and poor.

Cases have come to light where the original owners are threatened when the new buyer sends goons and threatens the owner not to enter the property.

Through information obtained through RTI, it says that the Mamlatdars who check the documents before approving the transfer erased the files without properly authenticating the documents, including verifying the correct signatures.

Lawyer Christina Dias, who helps victims of land grabbing, said: “It’s a terrible time for our villagers right now. In the regions of Badem, 18 cases are reported and there are nearly 45 cases in Assagao, Anjuna, Badem and Parra. We took out all the documents, whether fake or genuine. We met the Mamlatdar and he asked us to file a request for review after which he will cancel it, but so far nothing has been done. More than 00,000 m² of land was transferred and seized.