CHENNAI: The State government is at liberty to seal the retail shops dealing with iron and steel in Mannady if they encroached upon public roads, the Madras High Court has ruled.
The first bench of Chief Justice SK Kaul and Justice M Sathyanarayanan said this while passing further interim orders on a public interest writ petition on Tuesday.
Originally, while passing orders on a public interest writ litigation, a division bench in April 2009 ordered the shifting of the iron and steel market from Mannady to Sathankadu on the outskirts of the city, before June 15 same year. However, the shifting drive was not carried out in full, with only a few shops being relocated.
When the matter came up on November 5 last, the bench was told that the market has not been shifted in full. The bench directed the Chennai Corporation to file a status report.
Accordingly, the report was filed. After going through the report, the bench was satisfied that the wholesale trade had been shifted to Sathankadu.
But retail sale has been permitted at Mannady. The counsel for the petitioner alleged that the retailers are encroaching the spaces available on the roads.
The bench directed the State Home Secretary to ensure that the retail traders confined themselves to the four corners of their respective shops and did not encroach upon the roads.
In case they continue to use the space outside their shops or carry on business, which is not permissible, the authority concerned is vested with powers to seal the shops, the bench said and posted the matter for further hearing on January 21, 2015.