Delay in granting building permission to NRI draws Kerala HC's ire

The court pointed out that the petitioner invested his hard-earned money in his home town in Kannur district and purchased 5.86 ares for constructing a commercial building.

Published: 02nd July 2022 07:16 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd July 2022 07:16 AM   |  A+A-

Court Hammer, judgement, order, Gavel

Representational Image. (File Photo)

By Express News Service

KOCHI: Expressing displeasure over an incident in which a non-resident Indian’s application seeking clearance under the Kerala Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Act 2008, was caught in red tape for the past two years, the Kerala High Court directed to give sufficient training to revenue officers so that such things do not happen in future.

The court pointed out that the petitioner invested his hard-earned money in his home town in Kannur district and purchased 5.86 ares for constructing a commercial building. The village authorities initially granted permission to proceed with the construction. Later, the permission was cancelled following a complaint filed by nearby residents. The order was issued without citing  any reason and that also without hearing the petitioner. The court set aside the order and directed to effect necessary changes in the Basic Tax Register in respect of the properties of the petitioner.

Justice P V Kunhikrishnan issued the order on a petition filed by Vasu Kallayi, of Kallikandy, challenging the order.The court observed that as per the Wetland Act 2008, revenue divisional officers are in effect quasi-judicial authorities. The ignorance of law and misinterpretation of judgments of high court leads to several illegal orders by revenue divisional officers, who are the competent authority, which in turn leads to unnecessary litigations. The government should ensure that the revenue divisional officers are doing their quasi-judicial duties in accordance with the law, the court said.

The court noted that as per the report of the agricultural officer, in 2004, the petitioner’s property was fallow land with mixed vegetation and there is nothing in the report to suggest that the property is either paddy land or wetland. The court said the government should take appropriate steps to see that sufficient refreshment and training courses are imparted to enlighten revenue divisional officers about their legal powers in consultation with the Advocate General.



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