Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has said all 138 wholesale flower traders on Badrian Street, George Town, are bound to be evicted if they are found to carry on trade in flowers.In his common order on petitions by the Chennai Retail Flower Merchants Welfare Association (CRFMWA) and the Chennai Koyambedu Malar Motha Vyabarigal Sangam (CKMMVS) (wholesale flower merchants), Justice K. Chandru said notice will be given to CRFMWA within one week. The association would in turn inform all its members as well as furnish a list of members with addresses to Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA). The CMDA, on fixing the date for an enquiry, should give an opportunity to them. After hearing them, it could pass an appropriate order. It should be done within a month. Till such time CMDA passed an order, status quo as on date should continue.

In its petition, CRFMWA prayed for a writ to quash an order of the authorities of October 2004 and to forbear them from interfering with the retail trade in flowers by the members of the association in private property. The CKMMVS prayed for a direction to the authorities not to permit wholesale trade of perishable goods in Chennai Metropolitan area, except in the Koyambedu wholesale market complex.

Mr. Justice Chandru observed that it was rather unfortunate that in spite of a specific direction given by a Division Bench followed by another of this court in a subsequent writ petition, statutory authorities had not understood the scope of the order. They had deliberately discarded the court’s directions. Further, even though interim stay was obtained restraining them from further acting in the matter as early as in 2004, they had not cared to file a counter affidavit and for vacating the interim order.