//Kerala Cabinet drops goonda ordinance

Kerala Cabinet drops goonda ordinance

Chief Minister says it has undemocratic provisions

# Cabinet decides not to repromulgate seven ordinances
# Ordinance to restrain cutting of trees from large private holdings planned
# Ordinance to issue community certificates to all children of inter-caste couples soon

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Cabinet decided on Saturday not to re-promulgate seven Ordinances issued by the previous Government, including the Kerala Felonious Activities (Prevention) Ordinance, known as goonda ordinance. It also decided to bring in new Ordinances for restraining cutting of trees from large private holdings and issuing community certificates to children of inter-caste couples.

Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan told presspersons after the Cabinet meeting that the felonious activities ordinance, aimed at checking activities of goondas, was being dropped as it had undemocratic provisions similar to that of the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act (COFEPOSA).

The Chief Minister said that the Kerala Promotion of Tree Growth in Forest Areas Ordinance was being proposed as the Kerala Promotion of Tree Growth in Non-Forest Areas Act had led to the cutting of trees even outside smallholdings of farmers. The proposed Ordinance was aimed at checking large-scale felling of trees, using the provisions of the Act as a shield. Mr. Achuthanandan said that he would examine if ineligible persons had been nominated to the Dam Safety Authority.

The proposed Kerala Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Regulation of Community Certificate) Ordinance seeks to bypass a court order on issue of community certificates. According to the order, community certificates could be issued only if the father of the applicant is from a lower caste in case of communities following the patrilineal system.

In case of communities following the matrilineal system, the mother of the applicant should be from the community. Besides the felonious activities ordinance, the others proposed to be dropped by the Cabinet are the Protection of Human Rights (Kerala Amendment) Ordinance, Kerala Paramedical Council Ordinance, Kerala Local Authorities (Prohibition of Defection) Amendment Ordinance, Kerala Panchayat Raj (Amendment) Ordinance, Local Self-Government Institutions (Amendment) Ordinance and the Kerala Sports (Amendment) Ordinance. They will lapse on July 5.

With the lapsing of the Kerala Local Authorities Ordinance, stringent provisions brought by the UDF Government to prevent defection in local bodies will go. The Democratic Indira Congress (Karunakaran) was the immediate beneficiary of that Ordinance. It enabled party leaders to seek disqualification of defectors.