Special Correspondent

Management challenges jurisdiction of authorities to issue notice

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has ordered maintenance of status quo as on Thursday on issues relating to the Kodanad Estate.

While the Kodanad village panchayat has issued a show-cause notice to the estate management demanding production of documents relating to the ownership and construction on the property, the management moved the court challenging the jurisdiction of the local/district authorities to issue such a notice, besides alleging political motive for the act.

Structures denied

When the latest petition, filed by estate manager R. Ravichandran came up for admission before Justice A. Kulasekaran on Thursday, N. Jothi, counsel for the petitioner, denied the existence of any unauthorised structure on the estate premises.

Advocate-General R. Viduthalai, opposing any interim order in favour of the petitioner, said it would result in non-production of the documents for which the notice had been issued.

Mr. Justice Kulasekaran, stating that it was at his instance that the Government agreed to maintain status quo when similar petitions were filed in June, said he was inclined to hear all the four related petitions together at a later date. The matter was then adjourned to October 8 for further proceedings.

“Clean chit”

In his petition, Mr. Ravichandran said the authorities had given a clean chit to one of the seven buildings listed in the last show-cause notice. None of the remaining six buildings was beyond 250 square metre, requiring clearance by the aesthetic and architecture committee. He said planning permission had been obtained for all the buildings and property tax remitted.

Accusing the authorities of functioning under “grave political influence and misconception,” the petitioner wanted the court to quash the latest notice issued by the local body.