THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: According to available documents it appears that Vigilance Director Jacob Thomas was involved in a benami deal or has hidden his identity while purchasing around 50 acres of land in Tamil Nadu.
Days after a petition was filed before the Kerala High Court seeking a probe into the land deals of Jacob Thomas, the sale documents of the said property, which he allegedly bought in Sethur village, TN, in 2001, revealed some startling facts.
As per the two sale deeds - 1905/2001 and 1906/2001 - registered before the Sub Registrar, Sethur, on November 15 2001, 50.33 acres of land was purchased from 33 persons by Jacob Thomas, Director, ISRA Agro Tech Systems Pvt Ltd, S/79, Ist Floor, GCDA Complex, PB No 2710, Ernakulam, Kerala. The sale deeds, accessed by Express, make it clear that an individual purchased the land and not the company.
Curiously, the same address is shared by another establishment - Princy World Travels. It has been alleged ISRA Agro Tech Systems is a company floated for land transactions. Incidentally, as per its master data, ISRA Agro Tech Systems does not have Jacob Thomas as its director and two other names have been shown as its directors from 3/10/2000.
Despite repeated attempts by ‘Express’, Jacob Thomas’ response to the allegations was limited to a sentence. “Abhimanyu has unfortunately passed beyond the entrance of Padmavyuham” - (verbatim quote from his text message) - were his only words.
Meanwhile, Michael Varghese, who’s pursuing the complaint before the High Court, alleged the property was purchased by Jacob Thomas and he had mentioned it in his property statements in 2002-03.
“The land purchase was made by the same Jacob Thomas, who’s currently the Vigilance chief,” he said.
According to him, it’s rather clear the 50 acres of dry land, disclosed in the name of his wife, was purchased by Jacob Thomas, but a false declaration was given before Union Government. The 50 acres has not found a mention in his latest assets declaration - a violation of Rule 16(2) of AIS Conduct Rules.