High Court order leads to demolition of eateries

Judges ensure that action taken by CMDA in 2017 reaches its logical conclusion

Published - April 12, 2019 01:56 am IST - CHENNAI

Eateries put up under the banner ‘OMR Food Street’ demolished.

Eateries put up under the banner ‘OMR Food Street’ demolished.

The Madras High Court has made sure that proceedings initiated by Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) in February 2017 culminated in demolition of the eateries put up under the banner of ‘OMR Food Street’ abutting Rajiv Gandhi IT Expressway in Okkiyam Thoraipakkam on Wednesday.

Officials of the Greater Chennai Corporation informed a Division Bench of Justices K.K. Sasidharan and R. Subramanian that they had begun demolishing the eateries in compliance with the court order. It was on February 6, 2017 that the CMDA officials had issued a lock and seal notice for putting up unauthorised constructions without approval.

The notice was issued to the land owner N.A. Ramanathan who had leased out the property to those who run eateries under the banner of OMR Food Street. The land owner replied to the notice on February 27 and also filed a statutory appeal before the Housing and Urban Development Secretary on March 12, 2017.

However, the CMDA issued deoccupation notices on March 12, 2017 forcing the land owner as well as K. Ranjith Baba, Managing Partner of OMR Food Street, to file individual writ petitions in the High Court to restrain the CMDA from locking, sealing or demolishing the structures put up with metal sheet roofs for housing 25 eateries.

Disposing of Mr. Ramanathan’s writ petition on March 16, 2017, the then first Division Bench led by Acting Chief Justice Huluvadi G. Ramesh and Justice RMT. Teekaa Raman directed the Housing Secretary to dispose of the appeal preferred by the writ petitioner within three months and ordered that no coercive action should be taken till then.

In view of the order passed on that writ petition, Mr. Baba chose to withdraw the separate writ petition filed by him. Subsequently, the Housing Secretary rejected the statutory appeal on July 11, 2017. After the disposal of the appeal, the petitioner filed a review petition on August 2, 2017 and that too was rejected on October 17, 2018.

Finally, the Bench led by Mr. Justice Sasidharan too had on November 1, 2018 dismissed another writ petition filed by the land owner after recording his submission that the structures put up on his property shall be removed before November 30. When the undertaking was not honoured, it led to filing of a contempt of court petition by one V. Ganesan.

During the hearing of the contempt petition, the judges came to know that the Greater Chennai Corporation had regularised the plot on October 30, 2018 despite it being situated in a residential zone and granted planning permission. Holding that the regularisation had been done by a “fradulent” method of dividing the plots, the judge said, it was a contemptuous act.

They directed the Greater Chennai Corporation Commissioner to demolish the entire superstructure forthwith and report to the court on Wednesday.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.