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Kerala High Court Declines To Stay Implementation Of The Draft Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation 2021

Lydia Suzanne Thomas
28 May 2021 5:36 AM GMT
Kerala High Court Declines To Stay Implementation Of The Draft Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation 2021
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"...Nothing doing...it's a policy matter...let them file a response in two weeks time and then we'll see.."

The Kerala High Court today declined to stay the operation of the Draft Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation 2021 (LDAR), allowing the Lakshadweep Administration two weeks to respond to a public interest litigation assailing the Regulation.A Division Bench of Justices K Vinod Chandran and MR Anitha took up a petition moved by Congress Politician KP Noushad Ali, which challenged the...

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The Kerala High Court today declined to stay the operation of the Draft Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation 2021 (LDAR), allowing the Lakshadweep Administration two weeks to respond to a public interest litigation assailing the Regulation.

A Division Bench of Justices K Vinod Chandran and MR Anitha took up a petition moved by Congress Politician KP Noushad Ali, which challenged the LDAR and the Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Act (PASA) introduced on the island of Lakshadweep.

At the hearing today, Additional Solicitor General KM Nataraj sought time to respond on behalf of the Union Territory Administration and other respondents.

Allowing two weeks to the respondents, the Court also declined to stay the implementation of the Regulation.

The Counsel for the petitioner Advocate Anoop Nair prayed that the Administration not be allowed to implement anything in the meantime.

"Nothing doing...(it's a) policy matter", Justice Vinod Chandran replied. "Why unnecessarily...(inaudible)", the Judge continued.

Also Read: Kerala High Court Stays Lakshadweep Order Directing Assistant Public Prosecutor To Do Legal Work At Secretariat

Averring that there would be no order today, the Court directed that the matter be called in two weeks' time.

The plea, moved by Congress Politician KP Noushad Ali, challenges the illegal interference with the social , political, and cultural realities in the Island of Lakshadweep by the Administrator.

Specifically, the petition assails the Draft Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation 2021 issued by the Lakshadweep Administration, and the creation of a Lakshadweep Development Authority (LDA). The petition avers that the same has been widely resented by the residents of the island because it gives the respondent powers to remove or usurp the small holdings of property owned by the islanders belonging to the Scheduled Tribes. Arguing that the powers vested in the Authority violatest Article 21 of the Constitution and several other strict Rules, it is also contended that the inhabitant Scheduled Tribes' right to livelihood is affected by the new Regulation. Additionally, the petition takes the stance that the regulation gives immense power to the Administrator working under the Central Government. 

Apart from this, the petitioner also assails the newly-introduced Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Act (PASA), introduced in January 2021, stating that the law gives the government power to detain a person without any public disclosure for a period of up to one year.

Averring that the island and its inhabitants are considered in the category of scheduled tribes, the petitioner asserts that he is aggrieved by the act of current administration in lacking consideration towards the Island people, their choices of food, culture, livelihood. It is also argued that the acts of the administrator. These acts, it is argued, are against Articles 15, 16, 19 and 21.

The petitioner challenges the PASA and the LDAR and prays that the same be set aside, among other reliefs.


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