Land Sharks in White Robe, Church Usurps Govt. Land in Kerala 

By HK via Janmabhumi published on June 30, 2016

Kannur: Kerala’s Christian congregation has reaped galore in terms of land, with the aid of both LDF and UDF governments that have ruled the state alternatively. 

Churches and educational institutions belonging to congregations have mushroomed liberally in Kerala, thanks to government assistance. Take the instance of Kannur’s St Pius X Knanaya Catholic Church that has usurped government land for over 30 years. In spite of the HC ruling, alternatively governments of have not taken any step towards handing over the land for general use or auctioning the same. 

It was in the 70’s that the Knanaya congregation managed to lay hands on the 61.6 cents of land allotted for Pazhassi Irrigation Project. This is where the Knanaya church functions, along with a part of Sreepuram school building have been functioning for the last 30 years. With the project not being successful, the project went into the hands of state revenue department. The land, facing national highway road is worth crores. 

The UDF government went a mile extra. In 1991, while they were in power, by issuing orders to handover the land to Knanaya congregation. Countering the move, Puzhathi panchayat moved Court on grounds that they needed the place for an auditorium. The Court directive issued in 1998 clearly states that the land should be given to the panchayat since their requirement is for public use. If this not the case, the Court had directed auctioning of the land. In any case, Court had made it clear that the matter should be settled in two months time. 

In spite of this, there has been no move by the state government. Following Court directive Puzhathi panchayat had remitted a fee of 48,000 to the revenue department. However this had not resulted in any move from the ruling UDF government of those times, nor in any direction any subsequent government that came into power. 

Not adhering to Court directives is breach and contempt of Court. In spite of the Church and its school functioning in make shift temporary arrangements, neither has the state government moved in any direction in recovering the land, nor the panchayat which stands legally entitled to procure the same. 

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