News UpdatesCovid-19 Disease A ‘Disaster’: Kerala HC Upholds Taking Over Of Residential Apartment By DDMA [Read Judgment] LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK23 July 2020 5:48 AMShare This – x”The take-over is made by the DDMA in exercise of the powers under the Act, 2005.”The Kerala High Court dismissed a plea challenging take-over of an Apartment building for using it as Covid First Line Treatment Centre.Justice N. Nagaresh observed that the Corona Virus Disease will fall within the ambit of “disaster” as defined under Section 2(d) of the Disaster Management Act and thus it will be open to the District Authority to procure use of amenities including…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Kerala High Court dismissed a plea challenging take-over of an Apartment building for using it as Covid First Line Treatment Centre.Justice N. Nagaresh observed that the Corona Virus Disease will fall within the ambit of “disaster” as defined under Section 2(d) of the Disaster Management Act and thus it will be open to the District Authority to procure use of amenities including buildings from any authority or person even without formal requisition .The owner and some occupants of the flats had approached the High Court after the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) took over the Apartment complex to convert it temporarily as Covid First Line Treatment Centre (CFLTC). They contended that take-over of buildings for the purpose of CFLTC is not provided under the Disaster Management Act or in the guidelines issued by the State. Justice Nagaresh, in his judgment with the following quotes from Vidura Niti and also of Kautilya. He said that India followed a Socialistic pattern and Laissez-faire, in economics or elsewhere, was never the philosophy of India.”Sacrifice the interest of the individual for the sake of the family, Sacrifice the interest of the family for the sake of the Village, Sacrifice the interest of the Village for the sake of the Country.””In the happiness of his subjects lies the King’s (read State’s) happiness, in their Welfare King’s (State’s) Welfare.” The court said that though the Constitution of India places liberty and freedom of individuals at the highest pedestal, even the fundamental rights were not envisioned to be absolute by the Constitution makers. It observed:”The Right to life under Article 21 and the Right to property under Article 300 A are subject to restrictions and can be curtailed in accordance with procedure established by law and by the authority of law, which in these cases are under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005. Insofar as the WP(C) No.12935 OF 2020(N) District Disaster Management Authority exercises power under and follow the provisions of the Act, 2005, the petitioners cannot claim that their constitutional right to life and right to property is violated.”With regard to the contention that the flat owners were not given notice, the judge said:”What is affected by the pandemic is the right to life of the citizenry as a whole. In the situation prevailing, the State cannot be expected to issue individual notices to all Apartment Owners, whose whereabouts are not immediately known and provide them opportunity of hearing before take-over. The builder of the Apartment was heard. The residents, who were physically occupying the building, were informed. Strict extension of the principles of natural justice to a few flat owners, whose whereabouts are not immediately known, is likely to put the life and safety of a large number of public in peril. In such circumstances, the arguments of the petitioners that the take-over is illegal for want of notice to all, cannot be accepted.”Covid-19 A DisasterAnother issue was whether the provisions of DMA Act could have been invoked. Referring to the definition of disaster, the court observed”The Corona Virus Disease, 2019 (COVID-19), being a grave occurrence of a pandemic and consequently a calamity, arising from natural or man made cause, which has already resulted in substantial loss of life and human suffering, and being of such a nature and magnitude that it is beyond the coping capacity of the community of the affected area, the disease will fall within the ambit of “disaster” as defined under Section 2(d).”The judge, referring to provisions of the Act, said that it will be open to the District Authority to invoke Section 34 and procure use of amenities including buildings from any authority or person even without formal requisition and take such other steps as may be required or warranted to be taken in such situation. While dismissing the writ petitions, the court added:”The take-over is made by the DDMA in exercise of the powers under the Act, 2005. As regards taking over of residential buildings, such course is permissible under the Act. In view of the purpose for which the take-over is resorted to, proximity of CFLTC to Hospital being the prime consideration, the action of the respondents in selecting the building in question which is proximate to Kannur District Hospital, ignoring other types of buildings which are farther, cannot be found fault with. Even if the take-over is as part of capacity building measure, the seriousness of the pandemic and imminence of the requirement also justify the action of the respondents. Non-issuance of a formal requisition, selection of a residential building and urgency with which the District Authority acted, do not singularly or together, constitute malafides, as alleged by the petitioners.”Click here to Read/Download JudgmentRead JudgmentSubscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. 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By Donald WittkowskiGet ready. The Gale Force is coming back.Yes, the second nor’easter in a week is poised to strike the Jersey Shore on Wednesday with high winds, but in this case, the Gale Force is a roller-coaster, not a storm.After a two-month delay, Playland’s Castaway Cove, one of the Ocean City Boardwalk’s iconic amusement parks, is getting ready to add a new track for the 125-foot-high roller-coaster to give passengers smoother rides.The coaster’s original track proved a bit too bumpy, so the designer has agreed to replace it with all new steel at no cost to Playland. The distinctive blue track will be attached to the ride’s massive gray superstructure looming over the Boardwalk at 10th Street.Brian Hartley, Playland’s vice president, said S&S Sansei Technologies of North Logan, Utah, is expected to begin the work on March 19 and take about two weeks to complete it. Routine safety tests and inspections will be done before the ride is ready for the public.Brian Hartley, vice president of Playland’s Castaway Cove, says the coaster will be ready for the public by Memorial Day weekend.Playland, currently closed for the winter months, originally hoped to have the coaster operational in time for the amusement park’s spring opening on Palm Sunday weekend March 24-25. However, a two-month delay in getting all of the new track manufactured and delivered has pushed back the schedule.Hartley said the coaster should be ready in time for the Memorial Day weekend, the traditional start of the bustling summer tourism season at the Jersey Shore.Although the slightly bumpy rides were virtually imperceptible to passengers, Playland wanted the track to be completely smooth on a roller-coaster that zooms along at more than 60 mph, Hartley said.“It was like riding over the rumble strips on the side of the road,” he explained in an interview Tuesday. “Now, we’re taking out that tiny bit of imperfection to make it smoother.”Gale Force made its debut at Playland’s Castaway Cove last May, thrilling its riders with a series of twists, dips and loops on a serpentine-like track while traveling at a top speed of 64 mph.The ride propels passengers through a series of breathtaking twists and turns while shooting 125 feet high and plunging earthward at about a 90-degree drop. Riders also flip upside down and travel backwards, adding to the thrills.At times, the coaster gives riders the sensation of free-falling, as if plummeting off the side of a cliff. The ground below disappears as the coaster car contorts, zigzags and swerves along the undulating track.Hartley inspects some of the coaster’s passenger cars, now hidden under a tarp.After the 2017 summer season, it was discovered that the track’s steel rails were slightly misaligned, causing the bumpy rides. Hartley stressed that riders were never in danger.“There was never a safety issue whatsoever,” he said. “If there was, the ride would have never been open in the first place.”The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, the state agency that regulates amusement rides, said there was an “alignment issue” between the roller coaster’s car and the magnetic drive system that propels the vehicle. Echoing Hartley’s comments, the DCA said the safety of the roller-coaster “was never in question.”Using a huge crane, work crews dismantled the old track last November. The new track will retain the ride’s eye-catching blue color scheme.Gale Force’s grand opening last May came about a year later than originally scheduled. Hartley noted that the delays were caused by similar problems with the track’s alignment.The roller-coaster is the centerpiece attraction at Playland. Hartley said the coaster cost millions of dollars, but declined to divulge the exact price.Playland, which originally opened in 1959, is one of the Boardwalk’s oldest amusement parks. Visitors are greeted by Playland’s whimsical, giant pirate ship overlooking the Boardwalk between 10th and 11th streets.During last summer, Gale Force’s undulating, blue track provided thrills and chills. The Gale Force roller-coaster’s serpentine superstructure towers above the Boardwalk at 10th Street.