Charges filed against 5 others

Four officials have been placed under suspension and charges have been framed against five others in connection with the construction of a palatial building in the city without planning permission.

A communication to this effect received from the principal secretary, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department, was produced by the Government Pleader (GP) before the First Bench consisting of the Chief Justice M.Y. Eqbal and Justice A. Arumughaswamy when a writ petition came up for further hearing.

The petitioners, R. Ramamurthy and his wife Mahalakshmi of Neelankarai near here, sought the quashing of a demolition notice of the Chennai Corporation’s Zone-XV office of May 28 this year and direction to the authorities to approve the plan and the construction put up by them. The petitioners’ own case was that they had applied for a plan sanction and, pending orders on the application, they constructed the building. The construction was completed as early as in 2010.

During an earlier hearing, the Bench had said the Chennai Corporation had failed to state in the counter affidavit why the officials allowed the construction of such a huge building, which was completed in two years, and all along took no action to stop the work. In view of this, it was directing the GP to seek instructions as to why the matter should not be referred to the CBI for fixing the responsibility against the officers who allowed the petitioners to go ahead with the construction.

When the matter came up, the State did not file any counter.

However, the GP produced the letter of the principal secretary.

The Bench said the GP should file a detailed counter affidavit stating the action taken against the officers and also a status report. It posted the matter for further hearing after four weeks.

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