Devikulam sub-collector to inform HC on violation of its order

renu-raj

KOCHI: Devikulam sub-collector Renu Raj, who was publicly slandered by the local MLA after she tried to stop an unauthorised construction at Munnar hill station, Monday said she would inform the Kerala High Court of the violation of its order, despite a stop memo.

Speaking to reporters after meeting the Advocate General (AG) on the matter, she said further action on initiating contempt of court procedures against the Munnar Panchayat Secretary for violation of the court order would be taken as per the court's directions.

"We have given a report to the Advocate General with regard to the unauthorised construction done by the Panchayat. AG said he would submit a report on the violation of the court's order and will proceed further as per the court's direction," she said.

Renu Raj reached the high court Monday evening to meet the Advocate General, seeking to initiate contempt of court proceedings against the Munnar Panchayat Secretary for violating the high court order and allowing illegal construction.

Raj, who was appointed as the Devikulam sub-collector in November last year, had issued a stop memo to the panchayat on February 6 against an illegal construction by it.

"The special village officer and other officials who went to inspect the unauthorised construction, which was continuing despite a stop memo, were insulted by the contractor and the panchayat members," she said in her letter to the AG, seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against the Panchayat Secretary.

She has also stated that the unauthorised construction continued in the presence of Devikulam MLA S Rajendran, ignoring the directions given by her office and the high court.

Rajendran had Sunday courted controversy after he publicly slandered the young woman IAS officer, saying she "lacked brains," after she tried to stop the unauthorised construction of a shopping complex at Munnar hill station.

Television channels had aired visuals showing the legislator making the disparaging comments that the sub-collector lacked brains, had no powers to intervene in the construction as building rules comes under the panchayat.

"She doesn't have brains. She studied only to become a collector. Such people will have only so much brains. Should she not study the sketch, plans?... A collector cannot intervene in a panchayat construction," the MLA had reportedly said after revenue officials tried to stop the construction.

Revenue Minister E Chandrasekharan reiterated his support to the sub-collector and said the action taken by her was as per the law.

The Kerala High court had in a 2010 verdict said that a 'No Objection' certificate has to be obtained for any new construction in Munnar.

The four-storey building, built at an estimated cost of Rs one crore, did not have any permission from authorities, Raj had told .

The officer has informed chief secretary Tom Jose, Revenue Principal Secretary and the District collector and as per their direction had prepared a written report.