High Court criticises Sivaganga Municipality

Staff Reporter

MADURAI: The Madras High Court Bench here criticised the Sivaganga Municipality for cancelling the licences granted to two individuals for collecting fee at a daily market even as a lower court was seized of the matter.

Dismissing the civil revision petitions filed by the President and Commissioner of the local body, Justice N. Paul Vasanthakumar said: “The action of the Municipality… is an act of interference in the administration of justice.” The Judge refused to accept the officials’ contention that the licences were cancelled on November 10 because the District Munsif Court had not passed any interim orders in the civil suits filed by the licensees on October 17.

Admittedly, notices issued by the lower court in the interlocutory petitions were served on the Municipality on October 20. Thereafter, the petitions came up for hearing on October 23 and the Commissioner sought time to file his reply.

“Without filing counter affidavits… the Municipality cancelled the licences. It has to be treated as overstepping to frustrate the court proceedings and non-suit the respondents who are the plaintiffs in the original suits,” the judge said.

“The action of the Municipality cannot be condoned and if such kind of over reaching the court proceedings are allowed, the litigants may tend to ignore the court proceedings and act according to their whims and fancies,” the Judge added. Further, pointing out that all documents, relied on by the revision petitioners to cancel the licences, were dated after the filing of the suit, he said that the materials were of no significance as per a 2002 Supreme Court judgement.

Alternative remedy

The Judge also said that the Municipality ought not to have filed the present revision petitions against the interim injunction granted by the Munsif on November 26 because there was an alternative remedy of filing appeals before the District Court.

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