Telangana IPS officer Naveen Kumar interrogated in case of property seizure and forgery

The complainant alleged that Kumar had hatched a plan with the prime accused, who was living on the property since 2020 without paying rent.

ByAjay Tomar

Published Dec 28, 2023 | 12:26 AMUpdatedDec 28, 2023 | 1:05 PM

Telangana IPS officer Naveen Kumar interrogated in case of property seizure and forgery

Telangana IPS officer Naveen Kumar Bhatt was “interrogated” and booked on Wednesday, 27 December, in a case of cheating, said the police in Hyderabad.

The case pertains to the ownership of a retired IAS officer’s house being transferred in his name through forged documents and signatures, they added.

Kumar, a 2008-batch IPS officer, is currently the deputy director of the Telangana State Police Academy (TSPA) in Hyderabad.

Orsu Sambasiva Rao, who is the prime accused in the case, has been arrested and sent to judicial remand, said cops at the Central Crime Station (CCS) in Basheerbagh.

A case under IPC Sections 420 (cheating and dishonesty), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 467 & 468 (forgery), 471 (dishonestly use original documents), and 34 (criminal act committed by several people with common intention) has been registered at the CCS.

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What is the case?

The complainant is Mani Lal, wife of retired IAS officer Bhanwar Lal. She alleged that Rao had been residing in their house at Jubilee Hills’ Prashasan Nagar Colony without a lease agreement, and that efforts to collect rent from him went futile since January 2020.

The Lal couple said they faced a loss of rental income amounting to ₹42 lakh since March 2020 because of this.

When she asked him to vacate the Prashasan Nagar house, he didn’t comply. That was when she discovered that Naveen Kumar was also staying with him.

In the complaint, a copy of which South First accessed, the Lal couple claimed Kumar and Rao hatched a plan to seize their property with malicious intent. They fabricated documents with forged signatures, she added.

The forged documents include a loan agreement, cash receipt, and lease deed.

“The police interrogated IPS officer Naveen Kumar to collect the background information of the case. The other person (Rao) has been arrested and sent to remand. We will be sending the original and duplicate documents to the forensic and continue with the investigation,” a senior police officer from the CCS told South First.

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The Lal couple have been living in their house at Alwal. They said Rao approached them in November 2014 and sought to rent their Jubilee Hills house, and also claimed to be the brother of Naveen Kumar.

The couple said they entered into a five-year rental agreement with  Rao, starting in November 2014.

In 2019, IAS Bhanwar Lal retired and vacated their government flat in Alwal. They alleged that Rao stopped paying rent in 2020.

They said he sent three cheques worth around ₹10 lakh that year, but they all bounced.

Instead of vacating the house, Rao sent a legal notice in which he claimed nearly ₹50 lakh for house repairs and unsubstantiated payments, Mani Lal said in her complaint.

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Controversial past

In 2012, Naveen Kumar was suspended by the Andhra Pradesh government after he made false accusations against another IPS officer, CM Trivikrama Varma.

Kumar claimed that the 2005-batch officer was involved in narcotics-smuggling and even attempted to harm him.

Following Kumar’s allegations, the state government initiated an inquiry led by Eluru range DIG G Suryaprakash Rao into the charges against Varma.

The probe established that Kumar’s accusations were unfounded. Chief Secretary Minnie Mathews issued orders on Monday placing Kumar under suspension for gross misconduct and rank insubordination.

Kumar was specifically reprimanded for approaching the media and making baseless allegations against senior police officials, a violation of Rule 17 of the All India Services (Conduct) Rules of 1968.

Just before his suspension, Kumar threatened to approach the AP High Court if the case was not referred to the CBI.

Kumar also accused Rao of being in collusion with Varma and claimed that Rao had refused to accept evidence against his colleague.