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Alro can't sue Pareena in land case

Alro can't sue Pareena in land case

BANGKOK: The Agricultural Land Reform Office (Alro) has no authority to take legal action against Palang Pracharath Party MP Pareena Kraikupt after she agreed to hand over the 682 rai of Sor Por Kor land in her possession to the state.

landpropertypoliticscrimecorruptionenvironmentnatural-resources
By Bangkok Post

Thursday 12 December 2019, 03:26PM


No legal action will be taken against MP Pareena Kraikupt following the recent land dispute. Photo Bangkok Post.

No legal action will be taken against MP Pareena Kraikupt following the recent land dispute. Photo Bangkok Post.

Alro secretary-general Vinaroj Sapsongsuk said the office cannot initiate legal action against the MP because it has no jurisdiction over the land, not because the office is acting in favour of Ms Pareena.

According to Mr Vinaroj, the 682 rai plot occupied by Ms Pareena was under the jurisdiction of the Royal Forestry Department (RFD) before it was later transferred to Alro to be distributed in 2014 as part of a land-reform programme to provide land to poor farmers.

Ms Pareena had already occupied the land when it was designated for the land reform programme and when she agreed to return the land to the state, Alro had no cause to pursue action against her, he sad.

However, he noted that even though Ms Pareena has been spared action by Alro, the MP for Ratchaburi may have violated other laws governing public or forest land.

He said the RFD and the Land Department have jurisdiction over the land and they are authorised to take action against the MP.

Meanwhile, Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Thamanat Prompow yesterday brushed aside speculation he could become a target in a censure debate over the handling of Sor Por Kor land occupied by his fellow MP Pareena.

Capt Thamanat, who oversees Alro, said he has instructed Alro officials to launch an inquiry into Ms Pareena's land-holding and is ready to take opposition questions in the House.

He said Alro had to work within the law, which did not include tracking down suspicious cases of land occupation. It can take action only when land-holders resist a Sor Por Kor land survey.

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