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HC takes serious view of unauthorised constructions in Chennai

It also summoned the Chennai Corporation Commissioner to appear before it on September 23, over a contempt petition on an alleged illegal construction in the city.

Madras HC, Chennai, illegal construction, Chennai Corporation, Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority, Chennai news, India news A Madras HC bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice R Mahadevan said the malady of unauthorised constructions should be checked while hearing a PIL filed by social activist ‘Traffic’ Ramaswamy. (File Photo)

The Madras High Court on Friday observed that the malady of unauthorised constructions should be checked and electricity, water or sewerage connections should not be given permanently till such buildings were found in order.

Hearing another similar matter, it summoned the Chennai Corporation Commissioner to appear before it on September 23, over a contempt petition on an alleged illegal construction in the city.

The First Bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice R Mahadevan said the malady of unauthorised constructions should be checked while hearing a PIL filed by social activist ‘Traffic’ Ramaswamy.

He had filed the PIL with regard to deviations of buildings in Sowcarpet here. Based on amicus curiae advocate Suresh’s status report on such constructions, the court categorised such illegal activity.

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The bench went into the recommendations of the amicus curiae to correct the situation arising out of such unauthorised activity.

The recommendations include aspects like identification, and filling up of vacancies in regulatory and enforcement authorities of CMDA (Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority) and Chennai Corporation respectively.

The court later directed the authorities including the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) and the state government to file an affidavit on compliance.

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It said the counsel for CMDA and Additional Advocate General had submitted that a scheme was being devised to ensure that completion certificate was obtained even for such unauthorised buildings.

The scheme was being evolved so that the “malady of unauthorised construction is checked and no electricity or water or sewerage connections are permanently given till the buildings (are) found in order and completion certificate issued irrespective of whether it is a multistoreyed building governed by CMDA or in the other buildings governed by Corporation of Chennai.” The bench then posted the matter for further hearing to October 21.

The First Bench also directed the city corporation commissioner to appear in person on a petition filed by R Vadivelu, a resident of Neelangarai here who alleged contempt of court had taken place.

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The matter relates to the unauthorised construction by one Devaraji on his plot in Neelangarai, behind the petitioner’s property, which was sealed and locked by the civic authorities.

Devaraji had approached the high court seeking a direction to the officials to unlock and unseal the premises to enable him to carry out the demolition of the unauthorised portion.

Subsequently, the court passed an order to allow Devaraji to raze the deviated portion of the construction.

But, instead of demolishing the illegally constructed portion, Devaraji went ahead with the construction work at the premises, the petitioner submitted.

Therefore, the contempt petition was filed stating that the civic authorities did not follow the court orders to remove the lock and seal, he said.

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It was then brought to the notice of the bench that Devaraji had carried out further construction at the site.

In 2015, the bench had given a direction to the Corporation Commissioner to demolish the illegal construction owned by Devaraji.

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When the matter came up on Friday, a report was filed by the corporation commissioner stating that final order has been passed against seven delinquent officers who failed to stop the unauthorised construction at the site.

The court then directed the commissioner of Chennai Corporation to appear before it on September 23 for the next hearing.

First published on: 02-09-2016 at 10:54:04 pm
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