CHENNAI: Surprised over the contradictory stand taken by the Government and the Forest Department in a case, Madras High Court has observed that all the Departments of the Government should speak in one voice.
The First Bench of Chief Justice SK Kaul and Justice M Sathyanarayanan made the observation when the Dindigul Collector claimed that the land in dispute belonged to the government while the Forest Department laid claim to it.
Originally, social worker AR Gokulakrishnan filed a writ petition to retrieve one acre and 30 cents of land from IA&AS officer R Ambalavanan, Executive Officer of Tea Board in Coonoor, who had encroached upon it. A Division Bench of Justice R Banumathi and Justice TS Sivagnanam on September 5, 2013 directed the Collector to remove all encroachments and handover the land to the Conservator of Forest, Dindigul circle. Contending that this order has not been complied with, Gokulakrishnan filed the present contempt application.
When the matter came up on Friday last, the GP claimed that the land belonged to the government. Surprised over the different stands taken by the counsel appearing for government and the forest department, the Bench summoned the Chief Secretary to find a way out. However, the GP requested time for the matter to be taken up to higher level and a non-conflicting stand taken. The Bench then posted the matter for further hearing on August 12.