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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 14 July 2024 11.05 AM IST

HC orders appointment of special officer to stop Munnar land encroachment

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KOCHI: The High Court suggested appointing a special officer to prevent the rampant land encroachment in Munnar. The court also instructed the Munnar Panchayat Secretary to conduct an immediate investigation and issue a stop memo on the complaint about an eight-storey building construction ongoing illegally in Munnar.

A division bench comprising Justice A. Muhammad Mushtaq and Justice S. Manu suggested that an officer with powers equal to or greater than the District Collector should be appointed as a special officer. Special officers are appointed not only to prevent encroachment but also to take decisions including granting titles to the deserving. Steps should be taken to stop encroachment with the help of revenue and police departments. The special team appointed for the survey should also be placed under the special officer.

The government should announce its position on the issue on June 25. The government should also clarify its stand on ordering a CBI investigation against the 19 officials found guilty in the Rajan Madhekar report on the Idukki encroachment. The court said it was indeed a big fraud that included doctoring of title deeds application.

The court was considering petitions filed by the ``One Earth One Life'' organization against land encroachment in Idukki. The court had earlier prohibited the transfer of the Idukki District Collector which made the government file a review petition seeking permission to change the collector. The court clarified that changing the collector can be considered after confirming the appointment of a special officer.

The court cleared the air saying that it was not biased against anyone and warned about the impending danger in Munnar if authorities continue to keep a blind eye on the illegal constructions in the hill station.

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TAGS: HIGHCOURT, KERALA, SPECIAL OFFICER, MUNNAR, LAND ENCROACHMENT, JUSTICE, FLAT
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