HC Rejects Kapico Group's Petition - The New Indian Express

HC Rejects Kapico Group's Petition

Published: 11th December 2013 09:11 AM

Last Updated: 11th December 2013 09:11 AM

The Kerala High Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition by Kapico Kerala Resorts Pvt Ltd seeking to review the court’s judgment directing the Central Government to demolish  the illegal constructions of resorts at Nediathuruthu Island in Alappuzha district.

A Division Bench comprising Justice K M Joseph and Justice A Harilal dismissed the petition filed by Kapico Resorts chairman Roy M Mathew.

The petition stated that the finding of the Bench that the island falls under the CRZ-1 category as per the notification, was not supported by the materials on record and the Coastal Zone Management Plan. It contended that the court was persuaded to hold that the island fell in the CRZ-1 category on the basis of factual misrepresentation by the expert who was a member of the committee, and therefore, the judgment should be reviewed.

However, the Bench held that the revision plea did not deserve to be entertained and made it clear that the construction of `320 crore by the resort authorities was a violation of the CRZ notification of 1991. The review petition was filed on the basis of the report of an expert committee.The court asked what was the sanctity of such a report. “It may also be true that the state authority has accepted it and forwarded the report to the national authority. Later, the national authority has sent it back for consideration of the state authority. The court noticed that the report itself emanated from complaints by a certain panchayat. The report shows that no study was conducted regarding the island in dispute,” the court observed.

The Bench had held that the resort encroached ‘puramboke’ land and ‘kayal’. The company cannot carry out any kind of operation on the structures at the island and also directed the Centre to take action against the island owner. The court had further observed that the notifications issued were intended to protect the coast, the environment, and to achieve sustainable development, particularly of the fisherfolk and local population. “The notifications are meant to be enforced with full vigour. Circulars have been issued to the local bodies. However, the ground reality is that only lip service is being paid to the terms of the notification. If only the local bodies were vigilant, the matter would not have come to such a sorry state of affairs,” it had pointed out.

The petitioner argued that the procedure adopted by the Court in summoning an officer of the Centre for Earth Science Studies was unsupported by law.

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