According to BSNL insiders, the north Chennai-based Jesus Ministries had purchased 14 acres of land belonging to BSNL Society in violation of government norms and is again trying to purchase another 67 acres in Tiruvallur, forcing them to seek legal remedy.
Based on the petition by N Babu, a member of BSNL Cooperative Society who suspected foul play in the land dealing, the Madras High Court has passed an interim injunction, directing the respondents and government departments to submit affidavits and report by March 10.
“Using their hard-earned money, BSNL Society members had bought 99 acres of land in Tiruvallur. Of this, 14 acres were sold to the missionary in 2005 and has been facing legal issues since then. A few members are now trying to sell 67 acres of land which is valued at more than Rs 400 crore,” Babu, a sub-divisional engineer of BSNL, told DT Next.
“We are not blaming any member but we want a judicial probe by a retired judge to bring out the truth. The previous land deal should be scrapped and the present attempt to sell more land should be stopped,” Babu added.
“The issue that was dormant for more than 15 years is now being raked up, as the society members have begun paper works afresh to sell the land. After several rounds of talks to protect the land failed, some of the members have gone to the court and IT department,” said V Sathiabalan, a former member of the Telecom Advisory Committee.
There is a sudden interest in real estate circles for the property owned by BSNL Society, Sathiabalan added.
In the representative general body (RGB) meeting held on September 20, 2013, the society decided that the land would be developed into residential houses or flats for its members. All members of the society had applied for it, but the allocations were not made.
In 2017, the Board of Members, without convening the general body, executed a Power of Attorney and has mooted the sale. This triggered the litigation and demand for I-T investigation against the society members.