If you are buying property around Bengaluru, it is best to double check e-khatas as the police have unearthed a fake e-khata scam. Following complaints, the sleuths of Anti Corruption Bureau raided many houses last week to track down the culprits. Officials said the raids were conducted following complaints that hundreds of people were duped by issuing fake e-khatas around the City.
Police suspect there are more than 5,000 fake e-khatas issued in and around Bengaluru (some of the areas on the outskirts come under Ramanagar district). Police suspect that 1,600 fake e-khatas were issued at Kumbalgodu, Tavarekere, and surrounding areas only. The incident came to light recently after government official committed suicide after his name cropped in the e-khata scam.
How the scam works
To get an e-khata, a person has to apply at Gram Panchayat with all the requisite documents. The Panchayat Development Officer (PDO) would upload the documents via his log in to get an approval from the Taluk Panchayat executive officer through Panchatantra software.
Post-approval, the PDO gives a print-out of the e-khata. E-khata has been considered as an authentic document since 2013. However, a few officials started issuing fake e-khatas that look very similar to the original e-khata.
Following the scam, officials asked everyone to follow due procedure in verification to avoid being scammed. Government officials said every document issued has a unique certificate number.
“Use this certificate number to cross check the genuineness of the document. Every form-9 and form-11 is issued on secured stationery and a hologram is pasted on the certificate. One can see the water mark in the paper on which form-9/form-11 is issued and every paper is numbered and it is printed in the top right corner.
The system of issuing certificates on secured stationery with hologram is in practice only in three districts namely Bengaluru, Urban, Rural and Ramanagar. A facility has been provided to check the genuineness of documents issued. This can be done by clicking the ‘verify document’ section. One can verify the genuineness of the certificate by reading the 2d-barcode printed on the certificate which contains the digital signature of PDO.”