‘Clerical error, will reply’: Alappuzha DC Anupama on HC rap for Thomas Chandy notice

The HC criticised the collector for issuing a notice to the ex-minister in a land encroachment case, with a wrong survey number.
‘Clerical error, will reply’: Alappuzha DC Anupama on HC rap for Thomas Chandy notice
‘Clerical error, will reply’: Alappuzha DC Anupama on HC rap for Thomas Chandy notice
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Alappuzha Collector TV Anupama was pulled up by the Kerala High Court for issuing notice with a wrong survey number to ex-minister Thomas Chandy’s company. The Collector, in a report in August last year, accused the Minister’s Lake Palace resort of encroaching on a lake illegally, and also of levelling a paddy field to build a parking lot. She had issued a notice to the businessman-politician to appear before her on February 23, that Chandy had contested in court.

On Friday, the High Court pulled up the Collector for sending notices with the wrong survey number, and quashed the notices sent to the former minister. Following this, the Collector has said that the issue was the result of a ‘clerical error’ and that she would reply to the court once she got the order.

The case

The entire row over Thomas Chandy's land grab surfaced after Alappuzha district collector TV Anupama submitted a report to Revenue Principal Secretary PH Kurian in August.

The report stated that portions of Marthandam Lake had been levelled for building the Minister’s Lake Palace Resort. The report also said that a paddy field was levelled to build a parking lot for the resort.

The controversy forced the resignation of Thomas Chandy, who belongs to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and was the Transport Minister of Kerala. A day before he resigned, the High Court had dismissed Chandy’s plea to dismiss Anupama’s report.

Wrong survey numbers

However, on Friday, the High Court pulled up Anupama for the notice she issued, seeking  explanation with respect to the alleged encroachment and reclamation of backwaters by the minister.

According to media reports, Justice AK Jayasankaran took the Collector to task for entering the wrong survey number and block number in the notice.

In a statement, the Collector has clarified that there were two notices issued to the company: The first one had a wrong survey number, therefore it was replaced by a second notice, Anupama said, calling it a clerical error.

“There was no mistake in the survey number in the second letter. It will be brought to the notice of the court once the order is available. If the court believed that the second notice too had an error, will approach the court to point this out,” Anupama said. She also said that if there was something suspicious in how an error had crept in, she would order an inquiry.

However, the HC judge Justice Jayasankaran reportedly said that it was not a mere typographical error, and that the Collector failed to apply her mind. “The Collector had the responsibility to verify the numbers. The notice was issued based on wrong numbers,” he reportedly said.  

‘Controversial’ Facebook post

Following the statement, the Collector reportedly put out a Facebook post on Saturday, quoting a poem by Nikita Gill: “They may defeat you, injure you and insult you, but you like a phoenix know how to resurrect.”

While the post made no mention of the Thomas Chandy case of the High Court judgment, some people believe it was in reference to that.

However, the post was reportedly taken down soon.

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