KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Wednesday stayed the illegal construction by Munnar grama panchayat at Moolakkada near Muthirapuzha River and decided to consider the case after three weeks.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice A K Jayasankaran Nambiar issued the interim order on a petition filed by Munnar native M Y Ouseph seeking a directive to stop the illegal construction.
The petitioner submitted the Munnar panchayat is constructing a huge building on the land provided by Tata tea company without obtaining NOC from the Revenue Department or consent from the District Collector.The construction is being carried out on the Muthirapuzha River bed causing danger to the local residents’ life and health. It was in violation of the High Court order that NOC should be obtained from the Revenue Department for any construction in eight villages under the Munnar Special Tribunal on January 21, 2010.
When the petition came up for hearing, Additional Advocate General (AAG) Ranjit Thampan submitted the construction was carried out violating the High Court order and a stop memo was issued to the panchayat secretary on February 5.Devikulam sub-collector Renu Raj had filed a report that the panchayat continued the construction with MLA S Rajendran’s support. The state government had also filed a petition seeking to initiate contempt-of-court proceedings against Rajendran and four others for blatantly violating the court order, the AAG informed.
The counsel for Tata tea submitted that an extent of two-acre land was granted to the panchayat to have a parking facility following a discussion with the district collector in 2000. Tata has not transferred the land and only granted permission for that purpose.
The company came to know about the construction of a shopping complex on the land only when the panchayat filed an application for its power connection. The company contacted the panchayat soon after, the counsel informed.
Counsel for the panchayat informed it has stopped the construction activity. According to the panchayat, Tata tea surrendered the land for the panchayat. The court said no further construction should be made on the land until further orders.
FACT OF THE MATTER
The company came to know about the construction of a shopping complex on the land only when the panchayat filed an application for its power connection. The company contacted the panchayat soon after, the counsel informed