The Madras High Court has dismissed petitions challenging a notification of the State Environment and Forest Department of April 2007 and seeking to restrain the authorities from interfering with the peaceful possession and enjoyment of the petitioners' land at Mettukuppam in Pallikaranai, near here.

The notification was issued to acquire 317 hectares of swamp land in Pallikaranai as reserve forest. In the order on petitions by M.Indira and others, Justice D. Hariparanthaman observed that family cards, current consumption charges cards and property tax receipts would not confer any right on the petitioners to seek relief. The government had already made it clear that ‘pattas' could not be issued in respect of lands that had been classified as “meichal poromboke” (grazing land) and waterbodies. However, the petitioners could make claims before the Forest Settlement Officer within three months.

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