City Corporation files contempt of court petition

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Tuesday issued notice to Vilappil panchayat president Sobhana Kumari and the Vilappilsala Janakeeya Samiti leaders Burhanudeen and Beneckson on a petition filed by the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation seeking to initiate contempt of court proceedings against them for violating court orders on the solid waste treatment plant at Vilappilsala.

The notice was issued by a Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice P.R. Ramachandra Menon.

The court had ordered police protection for resuming the operation of the garbage treatment plant and directed opening of the lock of the gates of the plant with the assistance of police.

Law-and-order issue

The City Corporation alleged that the panchayat president along with agitators had organised protests and blocked the movement of garbage trucks to the plant. They had taken law into their hands and created a law and order situation at the site.

Janakeeya samiti president Burhanudeen and secretary Beneckson had also committed civil contempt and should be punished, the petition said.

Two loads of solid waste were taken to the plant for processing and treatment following the High Court order. When the lorries reached near the site, the panchayat president and the protestors restrained the officials of the Corporation from taking the vehicles into the plant site. The agitators pelted stones at the vehicles and the police. The police had to resort to a mild lathicharge and use tear gas shells to scare away the unruly mob, according to the petition.

The Corporation had not been able to implement the High Court order because of the highhandedness of the panchayat president and the protesters.

The Corporation said that due to the non-cooperation of the police valuable machinery brought from Pune could not be taken to the plant site and ultimately the machine had to be unloaded on the premises of the Corporation. The machinery was brought for the purpose of the construction of the leachate plant. The Corporation alleged that the police had not provided protection for implementing the court order. Effective steps could have been taken for implementing the court order, had the police acted.

The Corporation, therefore, sought a directive to the police to implement the court order.