KATTILMEKKATHIL SREE DEVI TEMPLE Vs. INSPECTOR OF POLICE
LAWS(KER)-2017-11-272
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
Decided on November 14,2017

Kattilmekkathil Sree Devi Temple Appellant
VERSUS
INSPECTOR OF POLICE Respondents

JUDGEMENT

P.R. Ramachandra Menon, J. - (1.) This is the second round of litigation that the petitioners are constrained to move before this Court. The matter relates to harassment by the 1 st respondent, interfering with the administration of the affairs of the petitioner Temple and the festival which is to commence from 16.11.2017. The dispute is projected as related to the property stated as possessed and enjoyed by the 1 st petitioner Temple for the last several decades. It is stated that the property comprised in different survey numbers was a subject matter of dispute, mainly between the petitioner Temple and the authorities of the Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd. (additional 13th respondent). The issue was taken before the District Collector, who constituted a Committee consisting of the authorised representative of the Company, the authorities of the Temple, the Revenue Authorities and such other officers/persons and a joint inspection was arranged on 06.02.2014. After conducting the site inspection, a detailed Report dated 11.2.2014 ( copy of which has been produced as Ext.P6 along with I.A. No.18111/2017) was preferred by the Special Tahsildar (L.A), K.M.M.L. Chavara before the District Collector, Kollam. The possession of large extent of property with the Temple in different survey numbers is specifically adverted to in the said report. There is also reference to various constructions in the said property, spreading around 3.5 acres in Survey No.43/1, which includes the 'Permanent Bhajana Madom', 'Gopuram', 'Kanikka Vanchi', 'Auditorium', 'Nadappanthal', 'Santhimadom', 'Sarppa Prathishta', 'Wells', 'Mudippura', 'Thidappilly', Gajamandapam', Upadevatha Kovils,' 'Kodimaram', 'Devaswom Office", Aalthara', Toilet etc. The proximity to the 'Company' on one side and 'Sea' on the other side is mentioned, also adverting to the consequences because of soil erosion. The Report finally concludes that the property of about 4 acres comprised in Survey Nos. 43/1, 43/2, presently in the hands of the Temple could be segregated and the 'mining activities' could be permitted to be pursued by the Company in the remaining portion. The request for changing the nature and description of the property (changing the tenure from 'Puramboke' and showing it the name of the Company) was also dealt with and it was suggested that it could be considered subject to the records to be produced by the Company. Ext.P6(a) sketch was also enclosed along with the said Report.
(2.) Mr. Firoz K.M., the learned counsel for the petitioners points out with reference to Ext.P7 (produced with I.A. No. 18111/2017) land acquisition proceedings (of the year 1998) that the western boundary is shown as the property belonging to the Temple and this by itself indicates the large extent of property belonging to the Temple and its possession. Reference is also made to Exts.P9 and P10 photographs showing the various constructions including the 'Temporary Bhajana Madom'. It is stated that the possession and permanent constructions are more than several decades. While so, Ext.P4 suit was filed by three persons before the District Court, Kollam under Section 92 of Code of Civil Procedure to frame a Scheme and the same is pending. In the said suit, an interim order was passed by the Civil Court prohibiting any construction activities, which was taken up before this Court by way of F.A.O. No. 92/2015. After hearing both the sides, the appeal was allowed and the interim order passed by the court below was vacated, permitting to continue with the construction activities; ordering to maintaining proper accounts and giving such other appropriate directions.
(3.) After culmination of the proceedings as above, some persons having vested interest allegedly instigated the 1 st respondent, pursuant to which, the 1st respondent started harassing the petitioners, which made the petitioners to approach this Court by filing W.P.(C) 10297/2017 against the police harassment. An interim order was passed by this Court on 11.4.2017, which is to the following effect: "The learned Government Pleader submits, based on the instructions received, that the plea of harassment is not at all correct or sustainable. It is also pointed out that, pursuant to some complaint preferred by the appellant, rival groups have come for a discussion to solve the situation and also to reach a consensus with intent to maintain law and order situation. It is stated that the police do not require the presence of the petitioner or anybody else and they will not interfere. Hence, there is no question of harassment. However,the police will not intervene unless there is any law and order situation . Submission is recorded. Post after vacation. It is made clear that if any offence is committed b y anybody or if there is any law and order situation, it would be open for the police to take appropriate steps in accordance with law." Finally, the Writ Petition was disposed of making the interim order absolute as per Ext.P3 judgment dated 08.08.2017. It is thereafter that, some other persons turned up before the 1 st respondent with similar grievance, also with reference to the alleged encroachment of the property belonging to the KMML by the Temple Authorities.;


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