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Chengara case: State gets more time

Special Correspondent

Kochi: A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Thursday granted the State government three months’ time to comply with its directive to evict the encroachers from the Kumbazha estate of Harrisons Malayalam Limited at Chengara in Pathanamthitta district.

The Bench comprising Justice K. Balakrishnan Nair and Justice P.N. Ravindran passed the order on a petition filed by the State government seeking to extend the time given for implementing the court’s directive.

The court made it clear that no further time would be given for implementing the directive. The directive had come on a writ petition filed by the company complaining about encroachment on its estate.

The government said that it had taken effective steps to implement the directive. Unless it was given sufficient time to comply with the directive, there might be violence and bloodshed. The government said that it was trying to evict the encroachers without any untoward incidents.

The government told the court that an amicable solution could not be reached because of the adamant stand of some of the encroachers. It was keen on solving the problem without any bloodshed.

(The encroachers have pitched tents in the estate and been demanding that the government provide land to landless families.)

Contempt case dropped

A Full Bench comprising Justice J.B. Koshy, Justice A.K. Basheer and Justice K.P. Balachandran dropped a contempt of court proceedings initiated against the former Minister for Local Self-Government Cherkalam Abdulla. According to the petition filed by P. Damodaran, Kerala State Vyapari Vyavasaya Samithi’s Kasaragod district secretary, while organising a reception on June 1, 2001 at Cheruvathur in Kasaragod district for honouring the then Minister, armed Indian Union Muslim League workers damaged shops of the members belonging to the samithi. The petitioner alleged that the procession taken out was in violation of the directives contained in a Full Bench judgment on conduct of dharnas and processions. The court held that the totality of the evidence showed that the former Minister could not be convicted.

The court accepted the contentions of the former Minister that the local people had arranged the reception and that his charge of the Kasaragod district secretary of the party was handed over to another person.

The court observed that while organising reception and processions, the leaders should insist on the followers to adhere to the directives given by the Full Bench.

Before Division Bench

Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan on Thursday referred to a Division Bench writ petitions challenging the Kerala Cooperative Society (Amendment) Ordinance 2007.

As per the amendment, the primary agriculture credit societies and urban cooperative banks have voting rights as well as share in a district cooperative bank while other societies would become only nominal or associated members of the bank with no voting rights or share. Mr. Radhakrishnan upheld the amendment.

However, a single judge of the Kerala High Court had on an earlier occasion dealt with the same kind of amendment a few years back and held that the amendment was discriminatory. In view of the conflicting views, the writ petitions were referred to a Division Bench.

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