The Supreme Court has permitted a petitioner, who filed a public interest litigation, to oppose in the Madras High Court, the grant of patta to the Agri-Horticultural Society in Chennai.

In its order, a Bench of Justices G.S. Singhvi and S.J. Mukhopadhaya said: “We have heard senior counsel T.R. Andhyarujina, appearing for the petitioner, Y. Bhuvanesh Kumar and perused the record. In our view the Division Bench of the High Court was not right in observing that the writ petition filed by the petitioner has become infructuous merely because the Principal Secretary to the government issued show-cause notice dated November 1, 2011 to the society and stayed the order of the District Collector.

“However, keeping in view the fact that legality of the action taken by the Principal Secretary and Commissioner of Land Administration, Chepauk, Chennai, is being examined by the High Court in Writ Petition filed by the society, we deem it proper to dispose of this petition with liberty to the petitioner to file an application for impleadment in the pending writ petition and direct that if such an application is filed, the High Court shall favourably consider the same.

“We also direct that after his impleadment, he shall be entitled to file appropriate affidavit and raise all legally permissible points to support the action initiated by the government for cancellation of order dated August 22, 2011 passed by the District Collector.”

In his appeal, Mr. Bhuvanesh Kumar questioned the dismissal of his petition for quashing order dated August 22, 2011 passed by District Collector (FAC), Chennai, in favour of the society as infructuous.

Assailing the order, senior counsel Mr. Andhyarujina and senior counsel P. Wilson told the Bench that a large chunk of valuable government land situated near Anna flyover, next to the American Embassy in the heart of Chennai and abutting Cathedral Road, was purchased and acquired by the government primarily for the purpose of maintaining it as an agri-horticultural gardenmeasuring 4 Cawnies, 14 Grounds and 1472 sq. ft (roughly 114 grounds worth more than Rs.500 crore.)

Mr. Andhyarujina alleged that after the AIADMK came to power, the lands were given to the society. The petitioner filed a writ petition and had brought to the notice of the court the mala fide exercise of power by the State and the resultant loss of a valuable property in favour of the society.

The SLP sought quashing of the impugned order.

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Law & OrderSeptember 24, 2010

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