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NSS challenges amended Act High court round-up

Kochi: The Nair Service Society (NSS) on Wednesday filed a writ petition challenging Sections 29 A and 127A of the Hindu Religious Institutions (Amendment) Act making recruitments to the administrative service of the Travancore and Cochin Devaswom Boards through the Public Service Commission (PSC).

In the petition, NSS general secretary P.K. Narayana Panicker said the sections were ultra vires of the provisions of the Hindu Religious Institutions Act, 1950 which conferred absolute power to select and make appointments to the devaswom service on the Devaswom boards. As per the provisions of the Act, Hindus who believe in God and temple worship are eligible to get appointments in devaswom services. By making an amendment to the Act, the board had been divested of its power. In fact, the Devaswom boards which consisted of Hindu members would be able to know whether a candidate had knowledge about Hindu rituals and practices. The PSC could not do such an assessment because the selection committee did not consist of Hindus.

Action recommended

A Bench of Justice K. Balakrishanan Nair and Justice M.C. Harirani directed the Director-General of Police (DGP) to inquire into the allegation that the former Kottayam Superintendent of Police P.V. Sreejith had harassed and forcibly evicted a person who bought 12 cents of property in Ernakulam from the police officer’s father’s brother. The Bench directed the police officer to pay Rs.25,000 as cost to the petitioner, Vinu from Edakochi. The court observed that if it appeared to the DGP that the allegation against Mr. Sreejith and two other police officers warranted disciplinary action, the DGP should initiate disciplinary proceedings against them.

Exemption from EPF

Justice V. Giri directed the State government to issue a notification exempting 689 workers in the Kerala State Beverages Corporation from the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) scheme.

The court issued the order acting on a petition filed by the Kerala State Beverages Corporation Employees Congress and others.

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