HC-appointed Monitoring Panel Faces an Existential Crisis

Published: 18th December 2014 06:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th December 2014 06:01 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: A High Court-appointed monitoring committee is in a ‘Catch 22’ situation over its relevance and will be seeking the Court’s clarification as to whether the regularisation scheme of 1999 or that of  2007 is valid under the new amendment to Town and Country Planning Act passed in February 2013.

Talking to Express on the outcome of a three-hour long deliberation, a source in the panel said the High Court judgment laying the guidelines for the 1999 regularisation scheme had given sanctity to the monitoring committee.

Unfortunately, the new guidelines, issued through two GOs, but later stuck down by the  Court, had never specified the role of monitoring committee.

“We are caught in a Catch 22 situation,” the source said.  It is learnt that the panel would submit a report to the Court in this regard as well as other issues since it was created by High court in 2006.

The Justice Rajeswaran committee, appointed by the State government, is framing fresh guidelines to implement Section 113C which calls for implementation of regularisation scheme from 2007. “They have to submit the revised guidelines within three months. Already a month has passed,” sources said.

“This is a one time scheme. Even the Madras High court had stuck down the regularisation schemes for 2001, 2002 and 2003 while upholding the validity of section 113A,” it is pointed out. According to sources, the State has never acted upon any recommendation of the monitoring committee except the one on streamlining completion certificate. “This streamlining has brought down building violations but had they acted upon the recommendation of taking action against the erring officials and builders responsible for violation besides regulating the planning process things would have been better,” the sources said.

Another disappointment was the government not acting upon the recommendation to strengthen the enforcement mechanism.

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