25 Sep 2023 3:00 PM GMT
The Kerala High Court on Monday directed swift steps to be taken for completion of the houses intended for 36 families of Endosulfan victims in the State. Justice Deva Ramachandran declared that the Court would not countenance any further delay in the matter, on noting that the writ petition in this regard had been pending for the past 3 years. "One cannot be oblivious of the stack reality...
The Kerala High Court on Monday directed swift steps to be taken for completion of the houses intended for 36 families of Endosulfan victims in the State.
Justice Deva Ramachandran declared that the Court would not countenance any further delay in the matter, on noting that the writ petition in this regard had been pending for the past 3 years.
"One cannot be oblivious of the stack reality that the victims and their families are living in great pathos, even in rented houses. Indubitably, a house in their name would be the greatest beneficence that one can extent to them, because they would then have the safety of a roof over their head and walls to protect them. It is, therefore, apodictic that steps have to be taken swiftly and quickly, so that the families are able to be accommodated with dignity in the houses available," the Court ordered.
The Court had earlier criticized the District Collector for not complying with its order directing inspection of the dilapidated condition of the houses given to the victims of Endosulfan, and submission of a report in this regard. It had also directed the said authority to appear before the Court and render an explanation for the same.
When the matter was thus taken up today, the Kasaragod District Collector, Inbasekar K., appeared online before the Court, and detailed the steps taken by him to ensure that the identified 36 families would be given housing at the earliest. He further submitted before the Court that there were no impediments - legal or otherwise - in handing over the houses to the beneficiaries, and that only certain maintenance work was pending, for which he also made available an estimate prepared by the Public Works Department (PWD).
Senior Government Pleader Sunil Kumar Kuriakose added that if the houses were repaired and maintained, the same could be handed over to the 36 beneficiaries without delay.
Advocate Sanand Ramakrishnan, appearing on behalf of the petitioner, informed the Court that the petitioner was willing to repair the houses, subject to finances being available with them. The Counsel however emphasized that the matter had reached the present stage only because of the delay, and due to the fact that the houses had been unused for several years.
The Court today emphasized that it intended to bring solace to the 36 families who had been suffering for the past several years, without the housing.
"They require the unflinching support of the community and the official Authorities and this is without any doubt. The tragedy is that even after the house were ready, there were impediments after impediments in the past, in putting them to use; but when all of them have been now resolved, a situation has arisen it has become wasted due to non-use. Therefore, all which now requires to be done is to rectify them and make them ready for habitation," the Court observed.
Pursuant to its direction to hand over the houses to the families as soon as possible, the Court proceeded to petitioner to meet the District Collector, Kasaragod, on September 27, 2023, to formulate the modalities for completing the works on the houses at the earliest.
The Court stressed that the work on the houses ought to be completed by October 15, 2023. It thereby directed the District Collector to submit a report to that effect by the next date of posting, and requested the authority to be present in person on the said date.
The matter has been posted for further consideration on October 4, 2023.
Case Title: Sri Sathya Sai Orphanage Trust, Kerala v. State of Kerala
Case Number: W.P(C)No.2887 of 2021
Click Here To Read/Download The Order