KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Wednesday directed the state government to inform the steps to be taken by the government to resolve the issues related to the eviction of a family from their property in Pathadipalam, Kochi.
The court passed the order on a contempt petition filed against the Kochi City Police Commissioner for not implementing the High Court directive to remove the family from the property.
The court also decided to implead the state police chief, Home Secretary and the Ernakulam District Collector in this case. In a contempt case, the Bench had directed the state government to implement its order to evict Preetha Shaji and family from the house.
The family of Preetha has been facing eviction over the default of payment of a loan by one of her relatives. Shaji, her husband, stood as guarantor to one Sajan for a loan of Rs 2 lakh by mortgaging his property of over 22 cents at Pathadipalam in 1994. However, Sajan defaulted on the loan and the bank took steps to recover the amount from the guarantor. Ratheesh M N then bought the property of Shaji in an auction conducted by the bank.
State Attorney K V Sohan submitted, when the team went there to implement the court order on Monday, the situation at the spot was highly dangerous which would have caused loss of life and high casualties.
He also said the police had taken earnest efforts to provide protection for the implementation of the order.
Shaji and family started an agitation against their eviction from the property.
They created a pyre in front of their house with an intent to commit suicide in case of any eventuality like eviction. When the Kalamassery Inspector tried to remove them to give protection to the Advocate Commissioner to execute the order, Shaji, Preetha and about 200 agitators had poured petrol and kerosene over themselves with an intent to immolate. The Inspector withdrew the police party to save the precious lives of the inmates and agitators.
The state submitted the whole issue had to be looked at from a different angle, as the issue involved a social issue in which the poor were deprived of their property. The government could not ignore the issue and shut its eyes on the issue.
The court cautioned it cannot justify continuing with the protest after the government submits its decision before the court. If it so happens, it would clearly be contempt of court and 'anti-democratic'.
Shaji, her husband, stood as guarantor to one Sajan for a loan of Rs 2 lakh by mortgaging his property of over 22 cents at Pathadipalam in 1994. However, Sajan defaulted on the loan and the bank took steps to recover the amount from the guarantor. Ratheesh M N then bought the property of Shaji in an auction conducted by the bank.