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Thursday, December 02, 2021

Madras HC orders demolition of illegal construction, orders action against official who granted permission

If this kind of 'illegal' allotment of government land and playground was allowed to be made by the officials, then it will be a threat for the maintenance of public properties, Justice S M Surbamaniam said in a recent order.

By: PTI | Chennai |
Updated: November 23, 2021 8:18:37 am
The Madras High Court in Chennai. (File)

The Madras High Court has set aside an order of the Tiruvannamalai administration, granting permission to construct a building on a playground and directed the District Collector to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the official who gave the nod.

If this kind of ‘illegal’ allotment of government land and playground was allowed to be made by the officials, then it will be a threat for the maintenance of public properties, Justice S M Surbamaniam said in a recent order.

The public officials are always expected to maintain the government lands, buildings and properties intact and for the benefit of the people at large. Contrarily, they cannot permit any other individual to encroach upon the public lands for individual gains or allot such public lands in favour of the individuals in violation of the Statutes and Rules in force.

“Thus, the actions of the respondents — Tiruvannamalai District Collector, the District Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare Officer and the Special Tahsildar, Adi Dravidar Welfare Office in Vandhavasi is not in accordance with law,” the judge said.

He directed the Collector to conduct a detailed enquiry and initiate all appropriate action against the officials who had committed such illegalities in allotting the playground in favour of the individuals and permitted the individual to construct house in the playground.

The judge was allowing a writ petition from A Sugumaran, who sought to quash the impugned order of October, 2015, demolish the illegal construction and restore the playground to its original position.

The judge also went on to observe that in the event of allowing such illegalities to continue, the same will not only create a bad precedent, but the public officials will be emboldened for allotting such public lands in favour of the individuals by corrupt means.

In such circumstances any leniency or misplaced sympathy will result in infringement of public rights, which is unconstitutional. Such infringements can never be allowed by the constitutional Courts. Public rights in respect of public lands are to be protected under all circumstances and the parties responsible and accountable must be prosecuted for any such illegality of permitting any other private person to encroach upon or construct buildings in public places, the judge added.

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