SC initiates contempt proceedings against Collector and others

Rainbow restaurant at Aluva, built in violation of the environment laws, will be demolished immediately.

The Ernakulam District Collector has asked the Public Works Department to pull down the structure immediately even as the Supreme Court has initiated Contempt of Court proceedings against the Collector and others in the case.

On Monday, the apex court ordered that the Principal Secretary (Tourism), the Ernakulam District Collector, the chairman of the Tourism Development Corporation, the secretary of the Ernakulam District Tourism Promotion Council and the secretary of Aluva Municipality to be present before it on April 28 for facing contempt of court proceedings.

Responding to the developments, District Collector M.G. Rajamanickam said the demolition would begin on Tuesday.

Earlier, the district administration had issued orders to the Public Works Department to raze the structure after the apex court rejected its request for more time for implementing the order. The PWD, on its part, had decided to go in for floating tenders for executing the work, Mr. Rajamanickam said.

With the Supreme Court issuing notices for contempt of court to the officials, the State government directed the district administration on Monday to raze the structure without waiting for the PWD to complete the tender process.

The building would be pulled down immediately and the matter would be reported to the Supreme Court, said Mr. Rajamanickam.

Last month, the court had directed the authorities, who sought additional time for implementing the demolition order, to ensure that the structure was demolished immediately. It had also indicated that the help of any Central force could be sought for handling any law and order situation that may arise while razing the building.

Moving the contempt of court petition, S. Sitaraman, the secretary of the Association for Environment Protection, said the respondents had “flagrantly violated and never complied with the judgment” passed by the court.

“The petitioner contended the respondents raised false and baseless arguments with the intent to defeat the order passed by the court,” said Sivan Madathil who represented the petitioner.

The petitioner also submitted before the court that the demolition of the building constructed by the respondents would not adversely impact the environment.

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