The inaction and negligence of officials of Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) and the Chennai Corporation, besides extraneous considerations, has led to unauthorised and illegal constructions coming up.
The First Bench of the Madras High Court comprising the Chief Justice M.Y. Eqbal and Justice T.S. Sivagnanam observed this in its order on a petition. The petitioner, J. Narayanan of Ashoknagar requested the court direct the authorities to issue a direction against one Mangala Ramakrishnan for putting up an unauthorised construction in a building without obtaining planning permission. The petitioner alleged that Mangala Ramakrishnan encroached upon the common area by constructing rooms in the ground, first and second floors illegally. The authorities did not take any action.
The Bench observed that before it took any action against the CMDA and Chennai Corporation officials, it was directing them to take action towards demolishing the illegal and unauthorised construction put up either by the petitioner or the person against whom the petition had been filed in the common passage within two weeks and submit a report.
In an order in another case, the Bench directed the Government Pleader to seek instructions as to why the matter should not be referred to CBI for holding an enquiry and fixing responsibility against the officers concerned during the period when the construction was put up and as to why they should not be proceeded against both departmentally and criminally.
In a petition, R. Ramamurthy and his wife Mahalakshmi of Neelankarai sought to quash a demolition notice of May 28 of the Zonal Officer, Corporation zone-XV, and direct the authorities to approve the plan and the construction put up by them. The petitioner said he decided to construct a building consisting of two floors with two houses in each and applied for approval of the plan to the St.Thomas Mount Panchayat Union. He was directed to drop the application in a box and accordingly he did so in October 2008. When he enquired about the fate of the application in November, he was told that the authorities could not pass any order and he could put up the construction in accordance with rules and later, if required they would consider the application.
He said construction began in October 2008 and was completed in August 2010. However, he alleged, that his neighbours who were inimical towards him had filed a writ petition for a direction to the government and take action against the corporation officials for permitting the petitioners to construct the building in violation of rules and regulations. Hence, the present petition.
By an earlier order, the court had directed the Corporation counsel to file an affidavit stating as to why officials allowed the petitioner to construct such a palatial building. The Corporation should also disclose the names of officers who were responsible for allowing the petitioner to go ahead with the construction without any permission.
In the counter, the Corporation Executive Engineer filed an affidavit that the site was inspected on March 13 this year based on a CMDA letter. It was found that the entire construction was unauthorised and hence notice was issued.
The Bench observed that EE had very conveniently evaded the question posed. Since the respondent had failed to file an affidavit, the Bench said it was giving the direction to the Government Pleader. The matter has been posted for further hearing after two weeks.