The Madras High Court on Friday granted two weeks’ time to the State government to file a status report on the eviction of nearly 130 families from Thideer Nagar, Kannappar Thidal.
Saraswathi, a casual labourer, and others challenged the authorities’ action of pulling down their houses in January without any notice under the Tamil Nadu Land Encroachment Act. They said this was against the principles of natural justice. They had been staying in the area for 17 years.
The Corporation submitted that it had handed over a piece of public land adjacent to Nehru Stadium for laying a warm-up track and building infrastructure for the Asian Athletic Games to be held in July .
A group of people had encroached upon a portion of the land handed over to the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu. Hence, they were evicted after intimation.
In view of the claims by the petitioners and the government regarding the families’ place of stay, the First Bench comprising acting Chief Justice R.K. Agrawal and Justice K. Venkataraman had earlier directed the revenue secretary to file a report on the authorities’ stand after perusing the documents
When the matter came up on Friday, the petitioners’ counsel, S. Prabakaran, said the families were living on the streets and their condition was worse than that of beggars.
Advocate-general A. Navaneethakrishnan said, following the High Court order, the revenue secretary conducted an enquiry on February 22. The claims of the petitioners were verified using documents such as family card, voter identification card and census records. It may take more time to finalise the status report. When he sought two weeks’ time to file the report, Mr. Prabakaran objected. The Bench posted the matter for March 15.
Nearly 130 families were resettled from Kannappar Thidal to Kannagi Nagar in January