The Telangana High Court on Wednesday directed the State government not to initiate any coercive steps against applicants with regard to Layout Regularisation Scheme (LRS) till further orders.
A bench of Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy passed the interim direction while hearing a batch of PIL petitions relating to LRS and Building Regularisation Scheme (BRS) issues. The bench would not hear the matters as the Supreme Court was already seized of the mater following a writ petition filed by a citizen Juvvadi Sagar of Telangana on the latter’s government issuing LRS and BRS rules without undertaking their impact assessment study.
When the PIL pleas came up for hearing on Wednesday in HC, Advocate General B.S. Prasad informed the bench about the writ petition in the apex court on the matter. The AG informed that SC had issued notices to Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu governments on the matter. The apex court also impleaded all the States and union territories in the plea, the AG told the bench.
Mr. B.S. Prasad assured the bench that the copy of the petition and the notices issued by the apex court would be passed on to all the PIL petitioners. Mr. Sagar Rao, in his plea, stated that permitting illegal layouts and buildings was having an adverse impact on the environment and was resulting in inadequate infrastructure like roads, sanitation and drainage facilities. The petitioner said the floods that ravaged Chennai in the past and the floods that hit Hyderabad a few months ago were the consequences of the permissions given by the government to unapproved layouts and illegally constructed buildings.
The CJ initially sought to know why there were a series of PIL pleas on the same issue of LRS and BRS rules. The counsels of the petitioners explained that while some of them challenged the State government’s GOs 131 and 152 connected to LRS and BRS in toto, others questioned legality of select provisions of the rules. As the bench decided to defer further hearing of the matters since the apex court was already seized of the issue, one of the petitioners’ lawyers informed it that the government fixed January 31 as the last date for payment of penal fee for LRS applicants.
The bench then directed the government not to take any coercive steps on the matter till further orders.