Kerala HC directs Govt to return golf club property

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Kochi, June 2 (UNI) The Kerala High Court today directed the State Government to hand over the Golf Club in Thiruvananthapuram and the property situated therein to the officials of the club tomorrow.

Mr Justice S Sirijagan also directed the Revenue Secretary to appear in person before the court on June nine to answer the charges of alleged disregard to the instructions of the Advocate General.

The court held that the Government action in taking possession of the golf club property was violative of the principles of natural justice. The reason for the action was not disclosed by the Government.

''I am unable to understand why democratic Governments take such steps in such haste,'' he observed.

The judge noted that the petitioners, the management of the golf club, had moved the court for a special sitting on Saturday. The single judge, who had to consider the petition, told the registry to inform the Advocate General whether the matter could be postponed till Monday.

The AG informed the Revenue Secretary and District Collector about this. He also spoke to the Law Secretary and Chief Secretary about it and advised against taking over the property as the matter was to come up before the court. Yet, the Revenue Secretary took possesion of the golf club property this morning.

The court held that this act of the Revenue Secretary was unbecoming. Holding that the AG had a constitutional right to inform and advice the Government, the judge said when the Advocate General gave an advice, it was the duty of the Secretary to act in accordance with that. The action of the Revenue Secretary was contrary to the Constitution, the court observed.

The directions were issued on a petition filed by Dr S K Balakrishnan Nair, the Secretry of the golf club, and two other members who challenged the Government action.

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