Kerala HC moved for CBI enquiry into Merchiston Estate deal

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Kochi, Oct 3 (UNI) Two writ petitions were filed before the Kerala high court today seeking a CBI enquiry into the Merchiston land deal which also involves the Indian Space Research Organisation's newly set-up Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology.

Both cases will came up for admission tomorrow.

Meanwhile the petition filed by ISRO, challenging the eviction notice issued by the Divisional Forest Officer, Thiruvanthapuram, was referred to a division bench by Justice Antony Dominique.

The case was referred to the division bench since two other writ petitions on the matter are already before it.

Seeking a CBI inquiry into the Merchiston Estate deal, petitioner B Raghunathan Nair from Thiruvananthapuram also sought the quashing of the order dated June 12, 2007, of the Pricipal Chief Conservator of Forests, Thiruvanthapuram, denotifying an area of 24.40 acres of the estate as ecologicaly fragile land.

The petition filed by K S Sekharan from Thrissur contended that ISRO, being a Central agency, there should be a Central agency's investigation into the matter.

The vigilance inquiry ordered by the Kerala Government in the matter was not sufficient as the state itself was an accused in the matter, he submitted.

UNI

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