CHENNAI: Holding that the whole transaction of a piece of land, claimed to be an Open Space Reserve (OSR), in Neelankarai area is suspicious, the Madras High Court has directed the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption to probe the issue and file a report in two months.
In a PIL, A Kanagasabapathy, retired additional registrar of Co-Operative Societies and secretary of Raja Nagar Welfare Association, Neelankarai, submitted that an OSR measuring 16,985 sq ft, which was meant for setting up a primary school, has been illegally occupied by one K Soundarajan of Anna Nagar, Chennai.
When Raja Nagar was developed at Neelankarai in 1971, it had 81 plots in 10 acres of land. About 10 per cent of the layout was earmarked as open space as mandated by the Development Control Rules and Town and Country Planning Act, Kanagasabapathy said.
“I applied for Encumbrance Certificate (EC) for the OSR from 1970 to 1986, which reflected no encumbrance. However, for the period between 1987 and 2008, there was a sale of 6,000 sq ft out of the OSR land. Subsequently, in 2003, the remaining area was also transferred to the wife of Soundarajan,” petitioner said.
Representation to the Commissioner of Chennai Corporation and the State government, and attempts to evict the encroacher from the public land failed, he submitted.
Alleging that Soundarajan has obtained the title over the land illegally by forged documents, the petitioner contended that once an open space is earmarked for public purpose, it could not be altered by any person or authority.
Admitting the PIL, the first bench comprising Chief Justice S K Kaul and T S Sivagnanam refused to accept the submission by the Corporation of Chennai that all relevant records were not available.
“We are completely dissatisfied with stand placed before us,” said the Bench and directed the DVAC to hold an enquiry and file the report before the court. The matter was posted to July 21 for further hearing.