Merchiston Estate: Petition to file complaint dismissed

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Kochi, Jan 1 (UNI) The Kerala High Court today dismissed a petition seeking a direction to Sub Inspector of Police, Thiruvananthapuram, to register a complaint and investigate into a crime in accordance with the law.

In his complaint, John Peruvanthanam alleged Xavi Mano Mathew, the managing partner of Southern Field Ventures, which owned the Merchiston Estate, was an accused in a case involving cutting of trees in reserved forest area whose rights vested in the government.

Even the Forest Minister Binoy Viswom had conceded Mathew was in possession of the forest land vested in the state and was prompting him to cut trees in the property.

The said action of the minister was in violation of the verdict of the Supreme Court and also the provisions of the Kerala Forest Act, the petitioner contended.

Mr John said though the complaint was filed by him on 19 September 2007 at Thiruvananthapuram Police Station, the police refused to register the same.

Dismissing the petition in the light of the authoritative pronouncement by the Apex Court, Justice V Ramkumar observed ''this court cannot encourage or entertain the writ petition to command the officer-in-charge of the police station to register an FIR and commence investigation.'' However, the court allowed the petitioner to approach the Magistrate court for filing a complaint.


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