Kerala government hands over golf club back to members

June 3rd, 2008 - 8:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, June 3 (IANS) A day after taking possession of the century-old Trivandrum Golf Club, the state government Tuesday handed it back after the members obtained an order from the Kerala High Court Monday. Justice Siri Jagan passed the order a few hours after the revenue department took possession of the club in the state capital after a hasty operation Monday.

The court also asked Revenue Secretary Nivedita Haran to appear before it next Monday and said she had violated norms and shown disrespect to the court.

But putting up a brave face, state Revenue Minister K.P. Rajendran said the government would appeal against the verdict.

“Discussions are going on at the highest level and we are committed that government land be protected at any cost,” said Rajendran after a high level meeting held here Tuesday.

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 within 48 hours.

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

It is reported that the state government is planning to engage a lawyer of repute to present their case.

Leader of opposition Oommen Chandy lashed out at the government for not listening to the advice of the advocate general, who had asked the state government not to act in haste.

“The government owes an explanation why they did not take the advice of the advocate general,” said Chandy

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