CHENNAI: Declining to interfere with the order of a Single Judge, a Division Bench of Madras High Court directed P ORR and Sons to demolish within 10 days part of the building rented by the company on Anna Salai which is in a precarious condition.
P ORR and Sons is occupying the entire premises owned by Associate Publishers Pvt Ltd. On April 1, 2013, the City Corporation served a notice, calling upon them to fence off the old portion of the building in the rear and to demolish it to prevent danger. The Corporation based the notice on a study by the IIT, Madras, which recommended demolition of at least two bays of the building from the damaged corner. Aggrieved, the noted wristwatch retailer moved the High Court. A Single judge constituted a committee comprising a civil engineer, retired Chief Engineer of Public Works Department and an advocate to inspect the property and assess the condition of the building.
The Single Judge dismissed the plea, saying that considering the condition and stability of the building, there would be loss of human lives if it collapses.
P ORR and Sons preferred an appeal before a Division Bench comprising Justice Sathish K Agnihotri and Justice M Venugopal. The Bench directed the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research - Structural Engineering Research Centre (CSIR-SERC) to inspect the building’s structure, design and durability.
“...the walls and floors of the building is in a precarious condition and may pose threat to the safety of the occupants and surrounding structures... ,” said the report submitted by CSIR-SERC.
Noting that the report was clear, the Bench said, “We do not find any infirmity in the order passed by the Single Judge and we are not inclined to interfere with the order of the Judge.”