Kochi: The Kerala High Court has stayed the Lakshadweep administration's eviction and demolition notice that was issued to those who had constructed sheds and buildings on government land.
The island administration had issued show cause notices to the alleged encroachers asking them to explain within two days as to why action should not be initiated against them. The High Court has stayed the demolition and eviction operations till July 23.
Despite Saturday being a holiday, Justice Sunil Thomas held a special sitting and issued the direction on a petition filed by five residents of the island including P Khadeesha. The court also granted seven days to the petitioners to reply to the notice served by the administration.
The petitioners said that they had received the notice under Lakshadweep Revenue Rent Act 1968 six days ago. They were given time to furnish their reply by 5 pm on July 7.
Besides, they were also directed to appear for a hearing either personally or through their representatives on July 8.
Though the petitioners submitted a representation seeking more time, there was no response from the island administration.
According to the petitioners, on July 9 the police and authorities marked their sheds and buildings. The notice was aimed at taking action against them within 72 hours, the petitioners alleged.
As there were also strong rumours that the demolition and eviction exercise would be carried out during Saturday and Sunday, the petitioners decided to approach the court.
The petitioners pointed out that the administration's action was illegal and amounted to denial of justice. They demanded the scrapping of the notice and also urged the court to grant an interim stay on further action from the administration's side.