Coastal Regulation Zone; Nobert Lawrence Vs. Kottukal Grama Panchayath [Kerala High Court, 08-11-2016]

Coastal Regulation Zone Notification ( CRZ ) – Beach Resorts – illegal constructions in violation of the permits as well as CRZ notification – One of the requirements for development of Beach Resorts in CRZ area is the extent of area of the plot shall be 0.4 hectares.

IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAM

P.V.ASHA J.

W.P.(C) Nos.5482 of 2007, 11186 & 25739 of 2012

Dated this the 8th day of November, 2016

PETITIONER(S)

1. NOBERT LAWRENCE, MANAGING DIRECTOR, AZHIMALA BEACH RESORT PVT.LTD.,, NEAR AZHIMALA TEMPLE, PULINKUDY, VIZHINJAM, CHOWARA P.O., THIRUVANANTHAPURAM.

2. M/S. SAMIRA BEACH CASTLE RESORT (PVT.) LTD., RUBY, K.P.1/1150, ROYAL GARDENS, MUKKOLA P.O., THIRUVANANTHAPURAM,

BY ADV. SRI. G.S.REGHUNATH BY ADV. SRI.P.R.VENKETESH

RESPONDENT(S)

1. KOTTUKAL GRAMA PANCHAYATH REPRESENTED BY ITS SECRETARY, KOTTUKAL GRAMA PANCHAYATH, THIRUVANANTHAPURAM-695 501.

2. KERALA COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY, REPRESENTED BY ITS SECRETARY, SASTRABHAVAN, THIRUVANANTHAPURAM-695 004.

3. CENTRE FOR EARTH SCIENCE STUDIES, AKKULAM, THIRUVANANTHAPURAM-695 031.

4. BEENA SARASAN, THIRUVANANTHAPURAM.

R1 BY ADVS. SRI.B.S.SWATHY KUMAR SMT.P.V.SOBHANA SMT.V.BEENA SMT.K.V.SUPRABHA R4 BY SMT. BEENA SARASAN (PARTY IN PERSON) BY ADV. SMT. ANITHA RAVINDRAN

These three writ petitions relate to a Beach Resort constructed in 75 cents of land in Kottukkal Village in Thiruvananthapuram District, presently owned by the additional petitioner. Hence all these writ petitions were heard together.

2. W.P.(C) No. 5482 of 2007 was filed by one Sri. Nobert Lawrence, who was the Managing Director of Azhimala Resorts. The Azhimala Resorts was purchased by Mausumy resorts as per sale deed number 2572/2008, which was in turn purchased by Samira Beach Castle resorts as per sale deed number 2357 of 2014, which got itself impleaded as additional petitioner herein. The Writ Petition was filed alleging that the high tide line (‘HTL’ for short) from the sea shore on the side of his property was not demarcated as directed in Ext.P3 judgment in W.A.1611 of 2006, while challenging the proceedings initiated by the Kottukal Grama Panchayat to demolish the constructions made by it. W.P.(C).11186 of 2012 is filed by One Smt. Prasannakumari, the Managing Director of Mausumi Resorts, who purchased Azhimala Resorts in 2008 from whom the additional petitioner Samira Beach Castle Resorts purchased it in 2014. She is challenging the order passed by the Ombudsman for Local Self Government Institutions, directing to cancel the mutation effected in respect of the buildings, purchased by her and the consequential order issued by the Panchayat.

3. W.P.(C) No.25739 of 2012 is filed by Sri. Sivakumar, challenging the order passed by the Tribunal for Local Self Government Institutions, by which the order of the Panchayath to demolish unauthorised constructions in violation of the judgment in W.P.(C) No.19547 of 2004, was upheld, rejecting his appeal. Orders impugned in both the writ petitions – 11186/12 and 25739/12, are issued subject to the decision in W.P(C).No.5482 of 2007. The facts leading to W.P(C).No.5482 of 2007 are the following:

4. An extent of 75 cents of property with seashore on its southern side, in Re-survey no.359 (part) of Kottukal Village in Neyyattinkara, in Thiruvananthapuram District was originally purchased by the petitioner- Sri. Nobert Lawrence, a Non-Resident Indian, in the year 1990. He wanted to set up a tourist resort in that property and transferred the property to Azhimala Beach Resorts, a company in which he himself was the Managing Director. On account of ecological and scientific reasons, he wanted to put up certain semi permanent structures and got Ext.P1 series of permits in the year 2002 and 2004, from the Kottukal Grama Panchayat-the 1st respondent. When he put up the constructions, Smt.Beena Sarasan, the 4th respondent, who is the owner of 2 acres of property on the eastern side of the resorts, approached the Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority (‘KCZMA’ for short) alleging that the constructions were being carried out in no development zone and without permission of the Ministry of Environment & Forest, Government of India, in violation of provisions in Coastal Regulation Zone Notification (‘CRZ’ for short). She thereafter approached this court filing W.P. (C).No.19547 of 2004, against KCMA as the 1st respondent, Azhimala Beach Resorts as the 2nd respondent and the Kottukal Panchayat as the additional 3rd respondent. After hearing both sides, this Court found that the Secretary of the Panchayat had given the permits after obtaining an undertaking from the petitioner that his property did not come under Coastal Regulation Zone notified area and the proposed construction of temporary huts with mud walls and thatched roofs shall be removed at any time at his cost in case it was found to be in the CRZ notified area, as and when directed by the Panchayat, without resorting to any litigation. By Ext.R4(a) judgment dated 8.11.2005, the writ petition was disposed of as follows:

5. XXX The grant of license by the Panchayat was made on the strength of the undertaking given by the 2nd respondent that the area does not come under the CRZ notification and that in case it is found to be coming under the said notification, it will remove all the constructions without demur. In view of the said position, the 1st respondent is directed to inspect the property of the 2nd respondent and to demarcate the area coming within 200 meters of the High Tide Line with notice to the petitioner the Panchayat and the 2nd respondent. This the 1st respondent shall do within one month from the date of receipt of a copy of this judgment. If the 2nd respondent does not demolish the buildings within the prohibited distance within one month, the 3rd respondent shall cause to demolish the same within one month thereafter, at the cost of the 2nd respondent. If the 2nd respondent has not, so far, made any application for consent, for construction in the area beyond 200 meters of the High Tide Line, it may make it within one month from today through proper channel. If the application is already received and is pending or any application is received within one month, the 1st respondent shall process the same and forward it to the central government for appropriate decision. If the application is already received or it is filed within one month from today, the construction standing in the area beyond 200 meters of the High Tide Line, will not be disturbed, until the union of India takes a decision as directed above. The retention of those structures thereafter will depend upon the orders of the Union of India.”

5. An inspection was accordingly conducted on 17.1.2006 with notice to all parties. The 2nd respondent found that the constructions were in the prohibited zone and therefore instructed the 1st respondent Panchayat to take steps to demolish the constructions.

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