Special Correspondent

Judges express displeasure

CHENNAI: Expressing displeasure at the Corporation Commissioner furnishing incorrect information to the High Court, a Division Bench has directed him to remove an encroachment on a 40 feet approved road by V.G. Panneerdoss and Co. at VGP Selva Nagar near Velachery.

The Bench comprising Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice N. Paul Vasanthakumar gave the direction on a public interest litigation petition filed by the Bhuvaneswari Nagar and VGP Selva Nagar Welfare Association.

The petitioner-association said that in May 2004 V.G. Panneerdoss and Co. had encroached on a vast stretch of the 40 feet road connecting the road to the Tambaram-Velachery Highway. Authorities failed to stop the encroachment, even when the firm started construction of a compound wall on the encroached land.

While the company did not engage any advocate at all, the Commissioner filed a counter-affidavit, saying the road width still remained 40 feet and the layout was yet to be approved.

After counsel for the association S. Doraisamy denied the official's averments, the Bench appointed advocate V.P. Sengottuvel as advocate-commissioner to inspect the site and file a report. During his visit, Corporation engineers furnished documents showing the existence of a 40 feet road as part of the approved layout. The Commissioner was then allowed to file a reply affidavit correcting his earlier stand.

Convinced that the layout was approved and the road was under encroachment, the Bench directed the authorities to clear the road and execute repair work within eight weeks.

The Judges said: "We are unable to accept the contradictory stand taken by the Commissioner. It is unfortunate that without verifying records and getting report from the field officers, the Commissioner has given incorrect information. It is not clear why the Commissioner has pleaded on behalf of VG Panneerdoss and Co., when they have evinced any interest in contesting the case."