CHENNAI: The Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) moved the Madras High Court on Wednesday, alleging that a leading hotel chain encroached public land that had a burial ground and roads in Mahabalipuram. The party sought a direction to hold a thorough and time-bound inquiry and appropriate legal action on the matter.
In his affidavit, the party’s Kancheepuram district deputy secretary alleged that the GRT Hotels and Resorts encroached 9.99 acres of land at Mahabalipuram town, which had a burial ground and a few public roads. The hotel has also obtained `35 crore as loan from a private bank by mortgaging the property.
The petitioner relied on an RTI reply from the Tahsildar, Thirukazhukundram Taluk, Kancheepuram, dated April 16, which stated that no patta was available in their office showing the ownership of the hotel over the encroached properties.
The petitioner alleged that his representations were never answered by the authorities, as they were influenced by the hotel management.
He pointed out how he was compelled to approach the High Court even to conduct a peaceful demonstration against the hotel management. The VCK had staged a protest on December 12.
Charging that the hotel management was now trying to transfer the property tax receipts in its name illegally so as to create a bogus proof of ownership over the encroached property, he sought the court to grant an interim order restraining the executive officer, Mahabalipuram Town Panchayat, from issuing property tax receipt in the name of GRT hotels, pending disposal of the case.
The petitioner further sought a direction from the court to Mahabalipuram district authorities to conduct a through inquiry into the issue within a reasonable time limit fixed by the court and take appropriate legal action against the hotel and remove the encroachment.
Admitting the petition, the Vacation Bench of Justice M Duraisamy and Justice R Mahadevan directed notice to the authorities concerned returnable by two weeks.