Plachimada disappointed as President returns Bill

A view of the defunct Coca-Cola unit at Plachimada in Palakkad. — Photo: K.K. Mustafah.  

A pall of gloom descended over 900 tribal and Dalit families of Plachimada and surrounding villages at Perumatti and Pattanchery grama panchayats following Union Home Ministry’s confirmation that the President had returned Plachimada Coca Cola Victims Relief and Compensation Claims Special Tribunal Bill passed unanimously by the Kerala Assembly in 2011.

The Bill aims at ensuring justice to the villagers who have a harrowing existence in the face of severe exploitation of their groundwater resources and destruction of livelihood. On Tuesday, the Ministry confirmed that the Bill was returned by the President without stating any reason. “It’s a travesty of justice. The Ministry had so far tried not to forward the Bill to the President raising unreasonable objections. Now it says the Bill has been returned by the President without citing any reason. We all have been waiting with the hope that Indian democracy can win over corporate greed,” said Vilayodi Venugopal, Plachimada Samara Samithy chairman.

“The whole process lacks transparency. We see a bid to subvert a Constitutional process initiated by the Assembly. We hope that the last session of the Assembly would pass a resolution urging the President to approve the Bill,” said Arumughan Pathichira of the Plachimada Struggle Solidarity Committee.

According to S. Faizi, who helped draft the Bill as a member of the Plachimada high-power committee, there had been concerted efforts right from the beginning to torpedo the Bill, to protect the interests of Coca Cola.

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Printable version | Oct 13, 2021 9:38:05 PM |

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