A victim of wrong trends in judiciary: K K James

He said, despite sourcing all the documents, they never reached the judges.

KALPETTA: “My family is a victim of the wrong trends in the judiciary," said K.K. James, the son-in-law of late Kanjirathinal George who has been on an indefinite sit-in before the collectorate for 885 days, seeking justice. Mr George and brother Jose bought 12 acres of Janmam patta land in 1967. In 1977, the forest department attempted to evict the farmers claiming it comes under Kerala Private Forest Vesting and Assignment Act. As the move was illegal, the forest tribunal in a verdict recognised the right of the farmers in 1978. But later forest officials fabricated pieces of evidence and won the case. The long legal battle has now reached the Supreme Court.

Mr James said was high time the leading lights of the judiciary acted to fix the holes in the present system where it is easy to either deny or delay justice. On the decades-long legal battle of the family, he said, despite sourcing all the documents, they never reached the judges. “An advocate appeared for my father-in-law at the High Court, though we never signed in a prayer," he told DC.

“It was an attempt to ensure our defeat. Such things still happen at the HC. We never appealed the forest tribunal’s verdict against us in 1985 as Mr George was critically ill. “Moreover, the advocate I had approached also appeared in the same case once again ensuring my defeat.” Mananthavady sub-collector Seeram Sambasiva Rao in his detailed report to state government said that all the legal disputes before 2013 were fought on a nonexistent issue as the land was not vested till then.

The advocate failed to place the report before the judge, though he had handed over the same to him. “This is the way the system fails the poor and the weak.” he pointed out. The land was vested in 2013 after ten months of the HC verdict, citing the defeat in legal battle. “See the irony. Somebody files a complaint in George’s name at HC, ensures that he is not informed, wins an ex parte judgment, and vest the land citing that we were defeated. We came to know about the appeal against the tribunal at HC only in 2008,” James laments.

The government in 2008 ordered to recognise the ownership of the farmer over the land after a report of the then revenue principal secretary Niveditha P. Haran.
But the move caught in legal tangles. In 2009, a vigilance probe also revealed fraudulent malpractices and also recommended action against few forest officials who still wields influence on high echelons. Now Mr James has approached the SC for justice through lawyer P.C. Thomas.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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