The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Thursday directed the Madurai Corporation Commissioner to file a report on the procedure followed in granting licence/lease to the shops belonging to the Corporation.
A Division Bench of Justices Pushpa Sathyanarayana and P. Velmurugan sought a report on whether the same procedure was followed for every zone and whether the licence was renewed periodically and whether there was any revision of rent.
The judges wanted to know whether a standard format was being followed by the authorities. The court was hearing a petition filed by S. S. Kumaran of Madurai who runs a food stall in a shop allotted to him opposite the Government Rajaji Hospital.
He challenged the eviction notice issued to him by the Madurai Corporation. The petitioner said that he was allotted the shop in 2005 and till date he was duly paying the rent. He also added that he was dependent on the food stall.
He said that he paid the rent and tax on time and had not encroached on the road margins. Further, he said that his shop catered to the needs of those who came to the GRH and also other people.
The petitioner said that the eviction notice was issued on the grounds that though the shop licence was in his name, it was being operated by one Mohamed Muthu. Mohamed Muthu was an employee who assisted him in running the food stall, he said.
There are no records available with Madurai Corporation that the shop was sub-leased, he said and added that Corporation authorities had arbitrarily terminated his licence without even affording him an opportunity to hear him.
The court ordered the status quo to be maintained and directed the Madurai Corporation Commissioner to file an affidavit to the court in two weeks time.