Grievance Redressal Mechanism For Kerala Floods: Permanent Lok Adalat Shall Be Treated As Second Appellate Authority: Kerala HC [Read Order]
The Kerala High Court has directed that Permanent Lok Adalat in the state shall be treated as the final level appellate authority in the Grievance Redressal Mechanism put in place by the state, for persons affected by flood/landslides, in relation to the benefits announced for them through the various Government orders.
The bench comprising Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice AK Jayasankaran Nambiar said that the Permanent Lok Adalat shall function as second appellate authority, in the hierarchy of authorities constituted for the purposes of redressing grievances. The court further said that appeals shall be preferred by the concerned from any adverse orders by District Disaster Management Authority (First Appellate Authority) within 60 days.
The court issued this direction after it found that the two tier Grievance Redressal Mechanism conceived by the State does not culminate in an appellate proceeding before an independent authority wielding judicial powers. Therefore, the court directed that the state should notify the services provided in connection with relief rehabilitation measures to flood/landslide victims as a Public Utility Service. But considering the delay that might occur to bring such notification, the bench had issued the above directions.
The state government had constituted the first level authority comprising of Additional District Magistrate/Deputy Collector. Second Level Authority consists of District Collector, who is also the Chairman of District Disaster Management Authority.