Forest Dept. evicts ex-Kerala DGP’s wife from Kodagu reserve forest

Forest Dept. evicts ex-Kerala DGP’s wife from Kodagu reserve forest

August 9, 2017

Mysuru: The Karnataka Forest Department has taken back a part of the reserve forest near Sampaje-Bhagamandala in Kodagu district occupied by Daisy Jacob, the wife of former Kerala Director General of Police (DGP) Jacob Thomas. The property extends up to 151.03 acres in Kopattimalai and is now worth Rs. 18.12 crore.

A team of Madikeri Divisional Forest Officer Suryasena visited the forest land yesterday along with 30 Forest Department officials and over 20 personnel from the Rapid Action Force conducted the eviction drive. Daisy held the property for over 27 years and the land was part of Pattighat range at Kopatti village near Bhagamandala.

Sampaje Range Forest Officer had filed a case that she had occupied land belonging to the Department and Daisy had appealed to the Assistant Conservator of Forests Court in Madikeri. The appeal was rejected and the Court had issued an order asking her to vacate 151.03 acres which was part of the reserve forest. Daisy then appealed to the Court of Manoj Kumar, Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF), Kodagu. The CCF, before his recent transfer, upheld the order on July 7.

As per Daisy’s property statement submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on January 1, 2017, the land was purchased in Daisy’s name in 1990 when the land value was Rs. 15 lakh. Also, the property, used for horticulture, generates revenue of Rs. 35 lakh annually.

In his order issued in November last year, Madikeri ACF Ranganath gave a month’s time to Daisy Jacob to prove her claim on the land, which she owned since 1991. The incident came to light after a forest survey conducted by the Department revealed that the 151 acres was part of the reserve forest since 1901. The survey was carried out as per the direction of the High Court in 2003.

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The ACF’s eviction order was issued under Section 64A of the Karnataka Forests Act, 1963 as it has been notified as reserve forest in 1904 itself. The issue went through multiple legal processes before the Forest Department finally concluded that the title holder (Daisy) had encroached on forest land.

The legal battle regarding the ownership of the land began in September 1999, with the issue being examined by the Karnataka High Court. Daisy Jacob, however, maintained that she had purchased the land from Hanuman Tobacco Company and has all the necessary documents to prove her ownership, including Sale Deeds.


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