Tamil Nadu

Don’t draw salary until demolition of unauthorised construction, HC directs Karaikal Municipality Commissioner

The Madras High Court has directed Karaikal Municipality Commissioner to not draw his salary until he removes an unauthorised construction put up by a temple. The court said that public servants were being paid from the State exchequer only for taking action against illegalities and not otherwise.

First Division Bench of Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice D. Bharatha Chakravarthy passed the interim order on a writ petition filed by A. Marie Lourdu Raj of Karaikal to prevent the management of Poiyamurthy Vinayagar Temple from constructing a Mandapam (canopy).

The counsel for the municipality commissioner conceded that the temple had raised an unauthorised construction. He said that the local body had issued a show cause notice to the temple and followed it up with an eviction notice too on January 28 this year. However, subsequently, the present petition was filed.

Since the matter was pending in court, the commissioner decided to await the orders, the counsel said. Not convinced with such an explanation, the judges said, there was no reason for the commissioner to have not pursued the matter further when there was absolutely no adverse interim order from the court.

Pointing out that the present case had actually been filed against the unauthorised construction and not in support of it, the judges said, in all fairness, the commissioner ought to have gone ahead and demolished the unauthorised structure than just having stopped with completing the paper formalities.

“Taking into consideration the serious lapse of the fourth respondent (municipality commissioner), an order is passed that he would not draw the salary till the unauthorised construction is removed. The salary drawn from the public exchequer is not made for the inaction and for paper formalities, but for the required action,” the Bench wrote.

It also called for an action taken report by March 28.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2022 1:22:56 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/dont-draw-salary-until-demolition-of-unauthorised-construction-hc-directs-karaikal-municipality-commissioner/article65253280.ece