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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Kerala HC raps Lakshadweep administration over rejecting Cong MPs’ application to visit islands

The court was hearing a petition filed by MPs Hibi Eden and T N Prathapan challenging the decision of the islands administration denying permission for the Congress parliamentarians to visit Lakshadweep.

By: PTI | Kochi |
Updated: August 6, 2021 9:16:02 pm
LakshadweepThe residents are seeking repeal of the proposed Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation (LDAR), the Lakshadweep Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Regulation (PASA or the Goonda Act), and the Lakshadweep Animal Preservation Regulation (LAPR). (File photo)

The Kerala High Court on Friday rapped the Lakshadweep Administration over its decision to reject the applications by some Congress MPs to visit the
islands and asked it to reconsider the decision.

Justice P B Suresh Kumar said the decision to refuse the application to visit was “unlawful”.

The court was hearing a petition filed by MPs Hibi Eden and T N Prathapan challenging the decision of the islands administration denying permission for the Congress parliamentarians to visit Lakshadweep.

The residents are seeking repeal of the proposed Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation (LDAR), the Lakshadweep Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Regulation (PASA or the Goonda Act), and the Lakshadweep Animal Preservation Regulation (LAPR).

“Decision to refuse visit application is unlawful. The applications were turned down, flouting norms. It was unlawful to turn down the request without hearing the applicants. Decision has to be reconsidered within a month and the decision on their application must be taken only after
hearing the Members of Parliament either in person or virtually,” the court said.

On July 3, the Lakshadweep administration had denied permission to Congress leaders to visit the islands, saying their visit “for political activities” will “disturb” the peaceful atmosphere.

Additional District Magistrate S Asker Ali, in his order denying permission to enter the islands for Congress leaders T N Prathapan, Hibi Eden MP, and C R Rakesh Sharma, the national legal advisor of All India Fishermen Congress party, had said that their purpose of visit “appears to be a political action”.

An archipelago located in the Arabian Sea, Lakshadweep has been witnessing protests by locals over the recent administrative reforms being implemented by Patel.

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