MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has ruled that the State Government does not have the authority to reclassify a `grama natham' (village common land) as Government `poromboke' (waste) land or such other category.
"It is a settled legal position that the Government cannot interfere with `grama natham.' It will have to be held that such a lack of authority for the Government will also encompass even any attempt to make reclassification," the Judges held.
The ruling was passed while allowing two writ petitions seeking to restrain the Virudhunagar Collector, the Revenue Divisional Officer, Sivakasi Tahsildar and Tiruthangal Municipal Chairman from interfering with possession of the properties owned by the petitioners.
The Executive Officer of the Nindra Narayanan Perumal Temple at Tiruthangal had claimed ownership over the properties. Filing an affidavit in favour of the temple authorities, the municipality said that the immovable properties were reclassified as `Government poromboke' from `grama natham.'
However, the Judges said that the municipality could not have any say as regards the classification or reclassification of `grama natham.'
"If at all any one has got any right in that area, it can only be expected from respondents 1 and 3, namely the revenue authorities... who have not come forward with any counter affidavit in these writ petitions."
Besides, the municipality had merely stated that the land in question was reclassified without referring to any proceedings and the revenue officials also did not support the stand taken by the local body. Hence, it would be unsafe to rely on the statements of the municipality.
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