Kochi: A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Monday orally directed the State government to produce all the records relating to the assignment of land to HMT.

The Bench comprising Chief Justice H.L. Dattu and Justice K.T. Joseph also orally directed the Advocate General to produce the Cabinet decisions, if any, on the HMT land issue. The Bench gave the directions when the arguments on a writ petition filed against the HMT land deal resumed on Monday.

Advocate General C.P. Sudharkara Prasad argued that the 70 acres of land sold by HMT to the Mumbai-based realtors did not form part of the excess land surrendered by the company. The 70 acres were part of the 100 acres of land in respect of which permanent exemption was granted by the government under section 81(1) (a) of the Kerala Land Reforms Act. As such, HMT was not legally bound to obtain sanction from the State government before selling its land, he contended. He also termed baseless the allegation that Industries Minister Elamaram Karim had supported the sale of the land. He contended that the sale of the land by HMT was valid.

On reservation

Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan issued notice to the Public Service Commission and the State government on a writ petition on the issue of reservation in cooperative societies.

The judge said Section 80(4) of the Kerala Cooperative Societies Act which prescribed reservation was introduced with effect from January 30, 1986. While rules 187 of the Kerala Cooperative Societies Rules 1969 prescribed reservation based on vacancies, the section stipulated that it be made on the basis of total number of posts. For deciding on the issue, the court felt that the PSC and Secretary, Cooperative Department, should be impleaded and it asked them to file counter-affidavits.

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