The Madras High Court on Friday warned the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) and the Chennai Corporation against entertaining requests for regularisation of illegal and unauthorised constructions in the city.
“In the city of Chennai, persons first construct illegal and unauthorised buildings and thereafter submit a plan for regularisation.” This practice must be deprecated.
The First Bench comprising the Chief Justice M.Y. Eqbal and Justice A. Arumughaswamy made the observation while passing further orders on writ petitions relating to the drowning of nine-year-old Ranjan, a class IV student, in the swimming pool of Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan Senior Secondary School in K.K. Nagar.
When the matter came up, a counter was filed spelling out the CMDA stand that the school swimming pool had not been shown in the approved site plan while making the construction and that the school management had made a deviation in respect of the school building and applied for regularisation, which was rejected in March 2010.
The Bench said as the construction of the swimming pool itself was illegal, any activity carried on in the pool was equally unauthorised.
The school’s counsel, P.S. Raman, said five years after the school building was constructed, a separate plan was submitted for approval of the pool. It was rejected. The school had gone on appeal, which was pending.
In view of the submission, the Bench directed that the swimming pool should remain closed. In the event that the counsel’s submission was found incorrect, it would order the demolition of the pool constructed without any approved plan.
As the investigation was not yet complete, the court said it was adjourning the matter by four weeks.
The Bench reiterated the police’s statement that after completion of the investigation, considering the material and gravity of the offences, it was always open to the police to alter or add more sections under the IPC if other offences were made out.
The CBSE counsel submitted that there was no rule or guideline that affiliation of a school would not be given unless it made provision for training of swimming as a subject or extra-curricular activity for pupils studying in classes I to IV.