KOCHI: The Kerala Government has decided to go ahead with demolition of controversial apartment buildings at Maradu but, at the same time, it has taken a soft stand on those who allowed construction of these illegal buildings way back in 2005-06. So far, the state government has not registered cases against the then government officers, political leaders who headed respective ministries, senior officers of Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority (KCZMA) and the builders for the illegal construction.
For legal experts, it’s still a surprise why the state has not registered a case against those who allowed construction of the illegal apartment buildings. With the SC ruling that the apartments violated Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms, the experts opine that the verdict has proved beyond doubt that the buildings are illegal and there is a legal provision to register graft charges against the then officers, people’s representatives and KCZMA officials who silently allowed the illegal construction.
Kerala High Court retired Justice B Kemal Pasha said the state should press corruption charges against those involved in the construction of the apartment buildings which were ordered to be demolished by the SC for violating the CRZ norms.
‘Govt should bring all culprits involved in the deal to book’
“Based on the apex court verdict, the state should have immediately booked cases against each person responsible for the illegal construction. They have not initiated such action so far,” Justice Kemal Pasha said.Former Director-General of Police (DGP) CA Chaly, who was also ADGP (Vigilance and Anti-Corruption), said the state government should have ordered registration of a case against the people involved in granting permission for construction of the illegal apartments.
“The state government has legal sanction to order registration of a case based on the Supreme Court verdict. They should do it and bring all culprits involved in the deal to book,” he said. The Vigilance Department has been aware of the rotten deals that have taken place in Maradu panchayat office right from 2005. The successive state governments were fully aware of the corruption taking place at the panchayat office. The Vigilance has earlier probed the activities of a senior officer of the panchayat.
“Till 2007, a lot of illegal activities took place at the panchayat with the knowledge of senior bureaucrats, officers and political leaders. It was only when a new panchayat secretary joined in 2007 that the panchayat decided to issue a stop memo to the builders who were found violating the CRZ norms,” said a senior revenue officer.