Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: A jewellery shop owner in Salem has filed a writ petition in the Madras High Court, citing Agriculture Minister, Veerapandi S.Arumugam as a respondent, stating that he was not only facing illegal measures at the hands of police and corporation authorities but also imminent threat to his life and property.

At the request of government side, Justice K.Suguna before whom the petition came up, has adjourned the matter to Tuesday. In his petition, filed by counsel, Su.Srinivasan, the petitioners K.R.Srinath, his mother and sister-in-law, submitted they constructed a jewellery shop at First Agraharam in Salem. Between their property and the eastern side property a six-foot lane existed and they and their neighbour were using the lane.

After constructing the jewellery shop, the petitioner said he commenced the work of levelling the lane and planned to raise the compound wall. But the Inspector, Pallapatti police station, visited the spot and threatened the labourers to stop working. Later, anti-social elements entered the petitioner’s property and attacked the labourers. He and his brother were pushed down. They were told that they should not carry any work on the site without the approval of the Minister. He lodged a complaint with the Pallapatti police, but the Inspector refused to accept it on the ground that the Minister’s name was mentioned in it. After deleting the Minister’s name under duress, a fresh complaint was filed.

The Member-Secretary, the Salem Local Development Authority, issued a notice asking the petitioner not to carry on the work and to remove the concrete pillars put up to raise the compound wall. As it was not heeded, Salem Corporation officials, the Headquarters Tahsildar, Head Surveyor and ACP along with police personnel and labourers entered the lane without notice and uprooted the marble flooring on it.

The petitioner prayed the court seeking a direction to the District Collector and Salem Corporation Commissioner to restore the lane to its original shape, pay compensation to the petitioners for their unlawful interference and to entrust the complaints of the petitioner to CB CID.