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Lok Ayukta order stayed

By Our Staff Reporter

KOCHI, SEPT. 14. Justice K. Balakrishnan Nair has stayed the Lok Ayukta's order directing the Director of Public Instructions to refund the revaluation fee to an SSLC student who appeared for the SSLC examination in 2002. The stay order came on a writ petition filed by the Director of Public Instructions and Commissioner for Government Examinations. The Lok Ayukta had issued the direction on the basis of a Government Order issued in 2003. The order said that if marks obtained by a student during revaluation were more than 10 per cent of the marks obtained in the examination, the revaluation fee would be refunded.

Directive to CEE

The Kerala High Court today directed the Commissioner for Entrance Examinations (CEE) to include the name of M.G. College of Engineering, Thiruvananthapuram, in the computer display system installed at the venue of the Centralised Allotment Process.

Justice K. Balakrishnan Nair passed the interim order on a writ petition filed by the Principal of the college. According to him, the Government had passed an order recognising the self-financing engineering college following a High Court directive. The order was passed on August 31. The computers installed at the venue of the counselling displayed the names of colleges, seats available, courses and so on for the benefit of the candidates. The Commissioner took the stand that the order was received at his office on September 1. The counselling had begun on September 2. Therefore, the office did not have adequate time to incorporate the name of the college in the computer system. In fact, the names of the newly-recognised colleges had been published on the notice board at the venue.

Bridge repair

A Bench comprising the Chief Justice, N.K. Sodhi, and Justice A.K. Basheer directed the State Government to carry out the reconstruction and widening of the dilapidated eight bridges on the Vypeen-Munambam Road in Kochi on a war-footing.

The Bench ordered that the reconstruction works be completed within a year. The court also directed the Executive Engineer, Public Works Department (Roads and Bridges), Ernakulam, to file monthly progress reports before the court. The first report should be filed on or before October 15, 2004. The direction came on a writ petition filed by Pourasakthi (Indian Citizen Development Society). According to the petitioner, the bridges were 80 years old and were on the verge of collapse. In an affidavit, the Public Works Department (PWD) said the eight bridges on the stretch between Njarackal and Malippuram required widening and reconstruction. The proposal for widening was mooted years back. However, it could not be carried out owing to paucity of funds. The PWD engineer further said that the proposal for reconstructing and widening had been entrusted with the Kerala State Transport Project.

Issuing the direction, the Bench said that it was unfortunate that the Government had not cared so far to undertake the repair of the bridges. The State needs to take steps to protect the interest of the travelling public.

Online lottery

A bench dismissed a writ petition challenging the order of the Commissioner, Commercial Taxes, clarifying certain points on the Sale Tax to be collected from online lottery operators. The order had clarified that retailers of online lotteries would be treated as a separate entity for levying taxes.

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