THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala High Court on Monday flayed the state government over its failure to consider the plight of former employees of the Kerala State Coconut Development Corporation as directed by the court and sought to know whether ministers are only interested in going on foreign trips. Despite the directive from the High Court, no follow-up action was taken by the government on the issue of former staffers of the coconut development corporation.
The recent foreign tours undertaken by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his cabinet colleagues — E P Jayarajan and A K Saseendran — along with their respective families had sparked a major controversy.
According to the High Court, if the government is being held captive by the bureaucracy, then it has nothing more to say. The Kerala Government is not functioning efficiently and the steps taken by the government are eroding the court’s faith in the system. If the government is not keen on implementing the court’s orders, there is no point in issuing orders.
“There is an adage (saying) that people get the government they deserve. We didn’t expect this from the government. From media reports, the court can understand how the government is spending money. The distribution of benefits to the elderly has been stopped. IAS officers seated in their air conditioned offices issue orders without understanding issues,” the court orally observed.
Justice Devan Ramachandran said when the petition seeking to initiate contempt charges against Kerala State Coconut Development Corporation for not complying with the order came up, the court had directed the government to consider the claims for wages and dearness allowance and make payments to former employees.
While issuing the order, the court had observed it is unfortunate that the government has not been able to find a solution to these issues though more than 19 years had elapsed and the hapless petitioners are waiting in vain for employment and their benefits.