Building plan violations cannot be regularised: HC

CHENNAI, TAMIL NADU, 22/06/2017: The Madras High Court. 
Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam

CHENNAI, TAMIL NADU, 22/06/2017: The Madras High Court. Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam

In a significant judgment, the Madras High Court has held that buildings constructed in violation of sanctioned plans could not be regularised unless the violations were set right.

The court said the practice of regularising even major violations would set a wrong precedent and demoralise law-abiding citizens.

Justices S. Vaidyanathan and Krishnan Ramasamy passed the ruling while disposing of a writ petition filed by Mehraj Begum, who was constructing a two-storey building at Mannady, allegedly in violation of the sanctioned plan.

The Corporation had issued stop-work notice and hence the present petition.

Observing that courts should not take a lenient view in matters related to violation of building plans, the judges said: “In most cases, after obtaining sanctioned plan and without adhering to it, many number of floors are built without proper set back on all sides and later, applications are made seeking regularisation.”

“Even though the Tamil Nadu Town and Country Planning Act of 1971 deals with regularisation of buildings, the authorities cannot regularise a building constructed in violation of sanctioned plan. Otherwise, the purpose of the Act will be defeated. The violators will enjoy and law-abiding citizens will become a laughing stock.”

‘De-seal building’

The judges suo motu included the Commissioner of the Greater Chennai Corporation as one of the respondents to the present case and directed him to de-seal the petitioner’s building so that she could demolish the portions constructed in violation of the plan.

Granting six months to restore the building as per the plan, the judges said power supply to the building should be snapped till then.

“If the officials concerned do not adhere to procedures mentioned supra, the government shall post the erring official in a non-sensitive post,” the Division Bench ordered.

It also directed the Housing secretary to submit by December 22 the number of statutory appeals and court cases pending in connection with building plan violations.

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2022 6:06:24 pm |