How civil suits aid unauthorised constructions

Unscrupulous individuals, in connivance with the officers of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), were misusing the process of the court to erect illegal structures in the State capital, said Justice Challa Kodandaram of Telangana High Court.

Passing orders in a contempt of court petition involving allegations about unauthorised constructions by two private persons and inaction by the authorities, the judge placed the matter before the First Court led by Chief Justice Hima Kohli for further action. When the civic body officials issue demolition notices to builders or individuals over illegally constructed buildings, the latter were filing suits against the GHMC before courts of junior or senior civil judges.

The builders or individuals were obtaining ex parte interim orders. In some cases, they were getting notices issued in the suits. Citing the notices issued by the court and the pendency of civil suits, they get the demolition stopped, the judge explained in the order. After filing written statements in such suits at a belated stage, these persons were withdrawing the suits or ensuring they were dismissed for default.

“During this period, when suits are pending, construction is being completed in connivance with the field officers,” Justice Challa Kodandaram said in his order. Ultimately, the suit gets closed either for default or due to withdrawal by the petitioner. But the “constructions remain intact...serving the purpose of which the suit was filed”, he stated.

In GHMC’s circle No. 16 of Amberpet alone, 189 such suits were filed in past five years. There are 30 such circles in GHMC area. If the number of such suits was multiplied by 30, the massiveness of the problem can be understood, the judge remarked.

“The fact that in a single circle 189 suits were filed in five years, discloses the malady,” he observed adding that this “required to be addressed in a serious manner”. He recalled that the HC’s division bench had already cautioned the civil courts against passing any orders in civil suits relating to illegal constructions. Yet “the system continues to be misused throwing a challenge to the judicial system,” he noted in the order. This was also resulting in “creation of a feeling among general public that the courts permit illegal constructions”, he said.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 1:02:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/how-civil-suits-aid-unauthorised-constructions/article35610188.ece

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