Court raps Kerala government for Golf Club take-over

June 2nd, 2008 - 6:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, June 2 (IANS) The Kerala government Monday suffered a setback when the Kerala High Court asked it to return the possession of the Trivandrum Golf Club to the club members Tuesday. Justice Siri Jagan also asked Revenue Secretary Nivedita Haran to appear before it next Monday and said she had violated norms and shown disrespect to the court.

The court asked the government why was it in a great hurry and what would have happened had it taken over the club in the proper manner.

The order came a few hours after the revenue department took possession of the premium club in the state capital after a hasty operation.

The cabinet meeting Saturday had decided to take over the club, situated on a 25-acre plot of prime property in the heart of the city, as it had outstanding dues to the state.

The government machinery was soon set in order. A team of revenue officials reached the club and asked its functionaries to vacate the premises in 48 hours.

Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, who was in his home district Palakkad, said the government would appeal against the verdict.

Law Minister M. Vijayakumar defended the move.

“We will take over (the club) because the facility is being used by only a handful right now. We have formed a four-member ministerial sub-committee to see how best the club can be used for improving the game of golf for all who want to play,” Vijayakumar told reporters an hour before the court order.

The club’s facilities are used by less than 200 members, most of whom are bureaucrats and politicians.

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