Petitioners protested eviction without notice

The Madras High Court on Friday dismissed over 100 writ petitions seeking restoration of possession of property at Kannappar Thidal, Choolai.

In its common order, the First Bench comprising acting Chief Justice R.K. Agrawal and Justice K. Venkataraman said since there was a disputed question of fact, it was not inclined to entertain the petitions.

Also, since the authorities said the petitioners had never resided in the area, the question of issuing notices to them before eviction did not arise.

The petitioners, Saraswathy and others, said they had been residing at Kannappar Thidal for the past 17 years and had been provided free electricity and drainage connections. They also possessed family cards.

On January 21 this year, the authorities, without notice under Section 7 of the Tamil Nadu Land Encroachment Act, pulled down their houses.

Earlier, the Bench had directed the revenue secretary to file a status report after perusing relevant documents.

In the report, the official said the eight-acre land under contention was allotted to the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu.

The petitioners were never in possession of the land. The documents produced by them related to a neighbouring area. The petitioners filed objections to the report stating it had been prepared without taking into consideration the documents in their possession.

The authorities countered it and said the national population register (NPR) enumeration had taken place in July and August 2010.

If the petitioners had been in possession of the property, they should have approached the enumerator for inclusion of their names in the NPR. When enumeration was carried out by the Chennai Corporation in January this year, the petitioners had not been residing in the said area.

Justice Venkataraman said the Bench was of the view that the court could not proceed with a disputed question. The revenue secretary’s report said a perusal of the documents produced by the petitioners showed they did not relate to the eight acres of land.

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