The Madras High Court Bench here on Monday ordered notice to the Kerala Chief Secretary as well as the Director General of Police returnable by four weeks in a public interest litigation petition seeking a direction to replace the Kerala Police at the Mullaperiyar dam with Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) or Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).
A Division Bench of Justices K.N. Basha and M. Venugopal also directed Assistant Solicitor General K.K. Senthilvelan and Special Government Pleader (SGP) K. Mahendran to take notice on behalf of the Centre and State government on other relief sought in the case such as removing illegal encroachments and providing firefighting equipment in the dam area.
The judges recorded the submission made by the SGP that the State police was providing adequate security within the Tamil Nadu border to the Public Works Department (PWD) engineers and their families residing in the vicinity of the dam as well as to Ayyappa devotees visiting Kerala.
They rejected a plea made by petitioner's counsel B. Stalin to order the constitution of a special police team to provide security. “They (the existing police force) will take care of it. Don't worry. Now that notices have been issued, it is an indication that the court will decide the further course of action later,” Mr. Justice Basha told the lawyer.
The Tamil Nadu Public Works Department Senior Engineers Association represented by its vice-president R.V.S. Vijayakumar, a former PWD chief engineer, had filed the PIL petition.
The petitioner said an Industrial Security Inspection Team of the Intelligence Bureau had inspected the dam in 2006 and given a report to the Centre recommending removal of encroachments and replacing Kerala police with Central security agencies. But they were not implemented.
Keywords: Mullaperiyar issue