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Mayor files writ petition against Ombudsman

By Our Staff Reporter

KOCHI, OCT. 4. The Kochi Corporation Mayor, C.M. Dinesh Mani, has approached the Kerala High Court against the order of the Ombudsman for Local Self-Governments directing the Mayor to show cause as to why he should not be declared as having committed a breach of oath for maladministration.

Ombudsman's order

In his order, the Ombudsman pointed out that the Corporation authorities had defied his order for demolishing a building being constructed on a drain on the Sahodaran Ayyappan Road. Though the order was issued on June 4, the illegal construction had not been demolished.

The Ombudsman had, therefore, directed the Corporation Secretary to recover the loss caused to the Corporation in this regard from the Mayor and directed the Mayor to show cause.

The Ombudsman had ordered the demolition of the building on a complaint filed by N. N. Sudheer of Vyttila.

The Corporation had removed bunks owned by him, which had been functioning atop one of the drains. The complaint alleged that the construction of building on the drain would cause heavy flooding in the city.

Mayor's petition

In his writ petition, the Mayor explained that Boby Varghese, who had constructed the building, had given his land free of cost for widening the Sahodaran Ayyappan Road. That was why he had been allowed to construct his building. The Corporation took the decision in public interest.

However, the Ombudsman directed the Mayor to explain why he had not taken steps to file appeal against the resolution of the Corporation before the Government.

The Mayor alleged that the Ombudsman had been making disparaging remarks against him since he had obtained a stay against an earlier ruling of the Ombudsman. The Mayor contended that the Ombudsman had no authority to issue the show cause notice to him. The order was passed without considering his reply, which explained the circumstances under which the Corporation took the decision to allow the construction of the building.

In fact, the pillars of the building did not hinder the flow of water through the drain, he had stated in the explanation.

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