Clearance needed for renting house in Kakkanad, V4 Kochi says not constitutional

Representative image. File Photo.

Kochi: With the recurring incidents of drug deals and murder, taking houses on rent in the Kakkanad area is now at the mercy of the police.

A circular, issued by the Kakkanad police last month, had stipulated that those residing at flats on rent should mandatorily procure the tenant verification certificate from the police station. But it is being contended that there is no such certificate, and that no law in India mandates the requirement of such a certificate for residing at any place.

"To those who asked about this tenant verification certificate, Thrikkakara assistant commissioner said that it is the Certificate of Non-Involvement in Offences. The police cannot insist on even this certificate. Stipulating a certificate to reside anywhere in India does not stand the scrutiny of the constitutional provisions,” V4 Kochi president Nipun Cherian has said.

Another objection raised is that accepting the stipulation for such a certificate could lead to financial frauds in the future. "In a land where a bribe needs to be given to the cop who comes home for passport clearance, there is reason to be suspicious of the intention behind such a directive," a youth who resides here said.

"Those who require the certificate have been directed to apply for it on the ‘Thuna’ website. Though the amount is remitted directly to the government, the verification is to be done by the Infopark police," he said.

“To get the certificate, Rs 620 has to be remitted on the website to avail the government service. Over 10,000 people from other districts are estimated to be residing in the Kakkanad area, which is known as the Silicon Valley of Kerala. Levying Rs 620 from this many people, would lead to financial transactions involving large sums of money. Under the cover of this, the aim is to commit other financial frauds,” Nipun alleged.

“The directive that the certificate of the police is required to stay on rent would make it nearly impossible to get a place of residence for those who have been entangled in any legal case," says Kurian Thomas who works in the IT sector.

“Even if involved in a case, how can a person be termed as guilty until the court declares so? We should remember that such draconian regulations are in a country where a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. The main problem is that the police, who say that this is the way to prevent drug deals and murders in Kakkanad area, are not able to do their duty.

“Without taking even the basic steps to prevent drug trafficking, the police are trying to cash in on the techies who stay on rent. As there are mechanisms in place to detect drug abuse, why is the police scared of utilising these? There could be specific reasons behind this. Those who have any financial means would not wait in queue to get the police certificate. Instead they would try to procure it by even bribing some cop. The police are eyeing this," he said.

Responding to the issue, the police sources said that the Infopark police is bringing in certain restrictions to ensure the safety of the public.

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