CHENNAI: For the third consecutive day on Thursday, the Member-Secretary of CMDA earned the wrath of the Madras High Court, this time over the issue of shifting responsibility in taking action against illegal constructions.
The practice of shifting burden on the other authority must stop, the first bench of Chief Justice SK Kaul and Justice R Mahadevan said.
The bench was disposing of a batch of seven PILs, all owners of flats in Easdale Enclave on Sterling Road at Nungambakkam, seeking to take action against the illegal construction put up adjacent to their apartments by one Jothivel.
The bench noted that the CMDA was attempting to wash its hands off the issue of alleged unauthorised construction by merely addressing a letter dated June 27 to the Chennai Corporation to take action.
On initial enquiry, the CMDA counsel sought to put the burden on the other, but when the bench said it would issue summons to the heads of both organisations -- CMDA and Corporation of Chennai -- he conceded that the matter would fall within the Authority’s jurisdiction.
“This habit of shifting burden on the other authority must stop and we direct that our order be placed before the Member-Secretary, CMDA, for necessary administrative action,” the bench said.
According to petitioners, the construction put up by Jothivel, which obstructed light and air, was not approved. Originally, he got permission only for ground plus two floors, but in the guise of renovation, he went on to construct two more floors without leaving any space or setback. Petitioners sent a representation to CMDA and Corporation.
Even after eight months of their representation, the authorities failed to take any action which is per se illegal, petitioners contended.