PIL petition in High Court
To come up for hearing today
CHENNAI: The constitutional validity of a State Ordinance, which imposes status quo for one year on unauthorised constructions in Chennai, has been challenged in the Madras High Court.
A public interest litigation petition, filed by the Citizen, Consumer and Civic Action Group (CAG), said the blanket maintenance of status quo for a year was intended to benefit the “brazen and compulsive violators of building regulations.”
The First Bench, comprising Chief Justice A.P. Shah and Justice P. Jyothimani, before which the matter was mentioned by CAG counsel, T. Mohan, on Tuesday, posted the matter to Wednesday for hearing.
The petition, filed by the executive director of the CAG, Bharat Jairaj, said: “At one stroke, the Ordinance glosses over the administrative and regulatory inefficiency and laxity that has led to almost half of the city’s buildings violating town planning legislation, and uses its own inefficiency to legitimise the illegal acts of large builders and developers putting up construction either without or in violation of a sanctioned plan.” The Ordinance attempted to “make a mockery” of court orders, he said, adding: “When the Supreme Court has clearly stated that regularisation was only a one-time measure, and the High Court has struck down further amendments extending the benefit to violations put up after the introduction of Section 113A, the impugned Ordinance cannot subvert it by putting in place a status quo.”
The Ordinance could not remove persons from the application and control of the Tamil Nadu Town and Country Planning Act, thereby virtually condoning all their brazen violations of rules enacted in the interests of the community and orderly development of the city, Mr. Jairaj submitted.
The Ordinance sought to maintain status quo on unauthorised constructions for a year notwithstanding any judgment, decree or order of any court. It also said all notices issued by any authority for initiating action against unauthorised development shall be deemed to have been suspended and no punitive action shall be taken for a year. The petitioner sought to quash the Ordinance 1 of 2007.
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