Division bench dismisses petition, says Corporation was in the right to seal the property

The Madras High Court has declined to direct the authorities to remove the lock and seal on a flat in Shanti Colony, Anna Nagar here, and restore possession of it to a tenant who had allegedly raised an illegal construction.

In its order dismissing a writ petition, a Division Bench consisting of Justices Elipe Dharma Rao and M. Venugopal said the Chennai Corporation had rightly taken the action of locking and sealing the premises on February 20 this year as per law. The original building could not be separated because the additional construction put up by the tenant was unauthorised and annexing the existing flat. Therefore, the relief sought for could not be granted.

The petitioner, M.R. Badrinarayana, was a tenant on the property belonging to one L.N. Ramaswamy. There were four flats in the block. All the apartment owners had put up constructions in the open area allotted to them. The petitioner said that the flat owner had permitted him an additional construction in the exclusive open area demarcated for him. Accordingly, he constructed an additional 60 square metres on the ground and first floors at a cost of Rs. 25 lakh in 2005. The owner had then initiated eviction proceedings against him.

The petitioner contended that as the flat owner could not evict him legally, he had instigated the authorities to evict him by unlawful methods.Writing the order, Justice Venugopal said there was no document to show that the petitioner had been permitted to put up an additional construction. Also, being Open Reserve Space, the owner himself, under law, had no right or authority to make use of such land for any other purpose.

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