KOTTAYAM: Tightening the noose around Devikulam MLA S Rajendran, who is in trouble following his derogatory remarks against Sub Collector Renu Raj, Idukki Collector Jeevan Babu submitted a report to the state government stating the MLA put pressure on the Sub Collector to go ahead with the construction of a commercial building by Munnar grama panchayat in Old Munnar.
In his report to the Revenue Secretary, backing the Sub Collector, Jeevan Babu highlighted two major violations - first, the construction did not have a no-objection certificate from the revenue authorities, mandatory as per the High Court order of January 20, 2010 and second, violation of High Court’s ban on construction within 50 yards (around 46m) of Muthirapuzha River.
The collector also said MLA Rajendran visited the Sub Collector’s residence and office taking up the issue of stop memo issued to the construction.
‘Preventing govt officers from discharging duties an offence’
“The Sub Collector informed the MLA that construction cannot be carried out till it receives the NOC. Later, the legislator arrived at the Revenue Divisional Office, Devikulam and said the stop memo issued to the work was not right. He asserted the work must be done. When the Sub Collector tried to convince the legislator, he left the office without paying heed,” the report said.
The Collector’s report further stated when the construction continued even after receiving the stop memo, Renu Raj sent Munnar special village officer and Public Land Protection Force (PLPF) personnel to the site. However, the contractor and the panchayat members insulted the revenue team and continued the work. Following this, the tahsildar (land records) was sent to the spot. As per the direction of the District Collector, the Sub Collector also contacted the Munnar grama panchayat secretary over the phone and directed him to stop the work.
Though the work was stopped following police intervention, the Devikulam MLA arrived on the spot and sought to resume the work. This apart, he scolded the government employees present on the spot and challenged them to stop the work. MLA also contacted the Sub Collector over the phone and asked who gave permission to stop the work. He said the building doesn’t need permission and work would continue. When the Sub Collector said she had provided the details in the morning, the MLA questioned her right to call him ‘MLA.’
The Collector’s report said disrupting government officials from discharging their official duties is an offence under CrPC. The MLA’s act prevented the Sub Collector from discharging her duties. Above all, his act also created mental anguish to the Sub Collector. As per the report of the Devikulam tahsildar, the MLA insulted the Sub Collector and spoke about her disdainfully and demoralisingly in public.
As per the HC order, construction activities must be done 50 yard distance from the Muthirapuzha River. But, the panchayat’s construction is just six metres away from the river. This area was under water for nearly two weeks during the floods. Moreover, if the construction work is given permission against the court order, this will weaken the government’s stance in cases pending in various courts, the report stated.
Illegal construction: Revenue dept to report in the court today
Idukki: Even though the illegal construction of a commercial building by the Munnar grama panchayat in old Munnar kicked up a controversy for violating the HC order, the Revenue Department did not report the issue in the High Court on Tuesday. Earlier, the Additional Advocate General and the Devikulam Sub Collector said on Monday night the developments would be reported in the court on Tuesday. According to the sources at the Revenue Department, the delay preparing the draft to be submitted at the court, delayed the submission as well.