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Bangkok Post
Bangkok Post

Land Dept to probe SRT title deeds

Activist Chuvit Kamolvisit gestures during his press conference on land in the Khao Kradong area of Buri Ram in March. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)

The Department of Land (DoL) will set up panels to investigate land documents for plots of land totalling 5,083 rai in the Khao Kradong area of Buri Ram's Muang district following a land dispute between two departments, according to a source.

The DoL has set up committees under Section 61 of the Land Code as instructed by the Central Administrative Court, DoL director-general Chayawut Chanthorn informed the court recently.

The panels are investigating the legitimacy of land documents and revoking those that were issued for plots of land in the Khao Kradong area that belong to the State Railway of Thailand (SRT), the source said.

There are 772 documents to be examined initially, 396 of which are land title deeds and 376 land use documents.

Of the land documents, 12 land title deeds amounting to 179 rai in total, are said to belong to the Chidchob family, a powerful political clan in the province that has several businesses on the land, including the Buriram International Circuit and a 32,600-seat football stadium.

The move follows the March 30 ruling by the Central Administrative Court in a dispute between the DoL and the SRT.

The SRT, which seeks to reclaim its land in the Khao Kradong area, filed a petition with the court in September 2021 accusing the DoL of malfeasance for issuing land papers to people who illegally occupied its land.

It demanded the DoL revoke the documents and remove all people from the area after the Supreme Court said the rail agency owned the land.

The Central Administrative Court ruled in the SRT's favour, ordering the DoL to work with the SRT in examining the boundaries of Khao Kradong. In the complaint, the SRT also demanded the DoL pay about 700 million baht in compensation, but the request was rejected by the court.

After the court ruling, the DoL said it accepted the decision but would consider whether to appeal. It also insisted it would revoke the land title deeds if any were illegally issued. The SRT appealed the compensation ruling to the Supreme Administrative Court last month, according to the source.

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