The Madras High Court bench here has dismissed a batch of appeals filed by the Local Planning Authority (LPA) in Madurai challenging the judgment of single judge which held that the LPA’s sealing the buildings belonging to private companies was not valid.

The chairman of the LPA (the Madurai collector) had alleged in his petition that private companies, such as R.P. Associates, Pandian Automobiles, Vishal Promoters and Max Properties, had obtained planning approval to construct their buildings from ‘incompetent authorities’, without the signatures of the Madurai Corporation Commissioner, he alleged.

The authority to grant planning approval vested with the Corporation Commissioners till October 14, 2010, but was shifted to the district collectors thereafter, he contended through the government advocates.

The collector identified the buildings that did not have proper approvals and issued orders to lock and seal those buildings, the advocates added.

The private companies moved the court challenging the order of the collector and a single judge passed orders holding the collector’s orders were not valid because they had constructed their buildings in compliance with the approval obtained from the Madurai Corporation.

In their judgement, Justices N. Paul Vasanthakumar and P. Devadass observed that the single judge was correct in his ruling.

“Merely because the orders issued to the building owners contained the signature of the authority stating signed ‘on behalf of the commissioner’ the approval granted by the Madurai Corporation cannot be considered invalid”, the judges ruled and dismissed the appeals.

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