State Files Review Plea in HC against Munnar Verdict

Published: 30th August 2014 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th August 2014 02:38 AM   |  A+A-


KOCHI: The state government on Friday approached the Kerala High Court seeking to review the verdict of a Division Bench directing to restore the land taken over by it from resort owners in Munnar within one month and also directing the government to pay a compensation of `10 lakh to the Cloud 9 Resort owner as provisional compensation for destroying the building in the property.

The order to restore the land was passed by a Division Bench chaired by the-then Chief Justice Manjula Chellur on her last serving day in the Kerala High Court before joining the Kolkata High Court, to where she was transferred.

The state in its petition pointed out that the Bench missed the point of law that the District Collector had ample powers to prevent conversion of cardamom plantation as per the Land Conservancy Act and Land Utilisation order and to initiate necessary action to restore the land to its original position.

“The court also inadvertently transgressed the jurisdiction conferred as per the provisions of the Constitution while passing the judgment.” The government said that the entire eviction drive in respect of lands in the illegal possession of the petitioners and other encroachers was to protect the government land and preserve the ecology of the area. A Division Bench had earlier permitted the government to proceed with the demolition. In fact, the Division Bench had granted 14 hours time to the petitioner to remove the furniture and fixtures from the resort. The liability of paying `10 lakh was unwarranted since the demolition was carried out after obtaining legal sanction.

The review petition also stated that a palpable mistake had crept into the judgment in not considering the authority of the District Collector. The owner of Cloud 9 Resort had encroached on the government land on the basis of bogus pattas.

The court proceeded as if there was a valid grant in favour of petitioner, which is an error apparent on the face of the record.  The resort owner also suppressed the fact that a suit was pending before a civil court with respect to the title of the land, the state submitted.

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