The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to interfere with an order of the Madras High Court, upholding the demolition of petty shops opposite the Chennai Central station to facilitate construction of the Chennai Metro.

A Vacation Bench of Justices Vikramajit Sen and Shiva Kirti Singh dismissed appeals by T. Valli and other shop owners seeking a stay on the removal of the shops by the Corporation. The Bench dismissed the appeals after hearing counsel Anirudh Krishnan and Balaji Srinivasan for the appellants, and Additional Solicitor-General L. Nageswara Rao for the Corporation.

The Counsel pleaded that without prejudice to their stand on merits, the Court might consider rehabilitating the appellants, and allocating them a small portion of land on the premises opposite the station. The Counsel pointed out that the appellants ran small petty shops / tea stalls on the said premises and were solely dependent on it for their livelihood.

The ASG, however, opposed the appeals and said the land was needed for the Metro project and several others had already surrendered their shops.

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