The petitioner alleged alteration of alignment of the project without the due process of law

The Madras High Court has dismissed a writ petition seeking to restrain the authorities from interfering with the possession of a piece of property on Anna Salai at Nandanam here, where a car showroom is situated.

The court has also restrained the commencement of tunnelling process for the ongoing Chennai Metro Rail (CMRL) project.

Justice S. Manikumar passed the order on a writ petition by L.V.K. Properties Pvt. Ltd, Ekkatuthangal, which was engaged in the purchase and development of property.

The petitioner said it purchased the property from several owners and also obtained patta. While granting planning permission for the car showroom, the CMDA imposed a condition to gift a portion of its land for street alignment. Accordingly, it was done and permission was also granted for the showroom.

Last month, on behalf of CMRL, permission was sought from the occupants of the petitioner’s property to install ‘geo technical instrument’ to monitor ground disturbance during tunnel construction.

The petitioner alleged there was alteration of alignment of the project without following the due process of law. A representation was also made to MosMetro India Ltd., pointing out the irregularities in the proposed tunnelling activity and requested CMRL not to start tunnel construction except as per law.

However, CMRL informed the occupants that it would enter the property, with force, if necessary, and commence tunnelling operations. Hence, the present petition.

The counsel said that when the petitioner had made a detailed representation on October 17 explaining how the proposed underground tunnel would result in diminution of the property value, the authorities should first determine the entitlement of the petitioners, to receive adequate compensation before proceeding with the tunnelling work or installing geotechnical instruments.

Dismissing the plea, Justice Manikumar said there was no acquisition of land or permanent disturbance to the enjoyment of the petitioner’s property. The tunnel was stated to be constructed 55 feet beneath the surface of the land.

He agreed with the CMRL counsel that economic advancement and developmental policies should not be scuttled, unless the policy itself was in violation of any Constitutional provision.

It was well settled that even under the land acquisition laws the entitlement and quantum of compensation were determined only based on the existing features and the likelihood damage or loss sustained on the date of acquisition and not for any future activity to be carried on by the land owners.

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