The Supreme Court has come down heavily on officers of the Tamil Nadu government and the State Housing Board for colluding with certain builders, who had encroached upon public land, and allowing them to loot public property.
Expressing anguish over the sorry state of affairs, a Bench of Justices B.S. Chauhan and J.S. Khehar said the land once vested in the State and free from all encumbrances could not be divested. The appellants had encroached upon public land illegally/unauthorisedly by conniving with officers of the State government/Board and raised a huge construction on the said land after getting the plan sanctioned from the competent statutory authority.”
Justice Chauhan said the State/Board authorities never made an attempt to stop the construction. Connivance of the officers of the Board in the scandal was writ large and did not require any proof. Facts of the case revealed a very sorry state of affairs as how the public property was looted with the connivance and collusion of the so called trustees of the public properties. It reflected on the very bad governance of the State authorities.
The Bench said the appellants had filed applications for re-conveyance through the original tenure holders/legal heirs. This clearly showed that the appellants themselves had been of the view that the suit land had already vested in the State, otherwise there could be no question of re-conveyance.”
While dismissing the appeals filed by V. Chandrasekaran and another person seeking re-conveyance of the land, the Bench imposed costs of Rs. 25 lakh and directed the appellants to deposit the amount with the Supreme Court Legal Services Authority within a period of six weeks. “In addition thereto, the Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu is requested to examine the issues involved in the case and find out who were the officials of the State or Board responsible for this loot of the public properties and proceed against them in accordance with law. He is further directed to ensure eviction of the appellants from the public land forthwith.” The Bench dismissed appeals against a judgment of the Madras High Court dated January 24, reversing the verdict of a single judge in relation to land acquisition proceedings. While the original owners of land accepted compensation after surrendering their land, the present appellants who had purchased the land sought re-conveyance.
The Bench rejecting their claim said that wrongdoers must be denied profit from their frivolous litigation and that they should be prevented from introducing and relying upon, false pleadings and forged or fabricated documents in the records furnished by them to the court. The appellants had disentitled themselves for any equitable relief.
The Bench quoting relevant provisions of the Land Acquisition Act said “in case the land is transferred in contravention of these provisions, the government may, by way of an order, declare the transfer to be null and void and on such declaration, the land shall, as penalty, be forfeited to and vest in the Revenue Department of the Government, free from all encumbrances. In view of the above, we are of the considered opinion that the sale deeds in favour of the appellants are void and unenforceable.”
It is bad governance of State authorities: Bench Imposes costs of Rs. 25 lakh on builders
It is bad governance of State authorities: Bench
Imposes costs of Rs. 25 lakh on builders