G.Subbammal got her compensation of Rs. 3.5 Lakh after four years of litigation against the city's Municipal Commissioner.

The Madras High Court today directed the Karur Municipal Commissioner to pay petitioner G. Subbammal a compensation of Rs. 3.50 lakh for demolishing her property.

Originally, the Commissioner had issued a demolition notice to the petitioner on January 14, 2008, claiming that she had constructed a building on government land. The petitioner challenged the notice by filing a writ.

A division bench passed an order on February 2, 2008, directing the authorities to get an explanation from the petitioner for the alleged encroachment.

The bench had also directed the authorities not to demolish the petitioner’s building without considering her explanation.

However, the petitioner’s property was pulled down by the authorities on February 7, 2008, in contravention of the court order. The petitioner then moved a contempt petition against the Commissioner.

A division bench ruled that the Commissioner should deposit Rs. 3.50 lakh as compensation at the court’s registry.

The petitioner will be allowed to draw the amount during the disposal of the contempt petition, the bench had observed.

While the Commissioner deposited the money at the court’s registry, he claimed that the court’s direction restraining him from demolishing the building was not communicated to him.

The Commissioner received the communication only on February 8, 2008, a day after he executed the demolition, his counsel claimed.

The petitioner’s counsel contended that the authorities had violated the court’s direction and demolished the petitioner’s property.

The authorities were liable to pay the compensation to the petitioner, he argued.

Dismissing the contention of the Municipal Commissioner, a division bench comprising Justices N. Paul Vasanthakumar and P. Devadass ruled that the Commissioner was not justified in pleading that he had no knowledge of the court’s direction.

He had ‘wilfully violated the order,’ they noted.

Therefore, they allowed the contempt petition and directed the petitioner to submit an application before the Registrar (judicial) of the High Court bench to draw the compensation she is entitled to.

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