CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has rejected a plea by PMK president GK Mani seeking to quash a notice issued in connection with compensating the Metro Transport Corporation (MTC) for the losses caused during the Marakkanam riots in 2013.
Disposing of a petition filed in 2014 by GK Mani questioning the proceedings of MTC for collecting the compensation and hearing by the Commissioner of Revenue Administration (CRA) in this regard, Justice SM Subramaniam ordered the CRA to hold the enquiry and pass orders in four months.
“The relief as such sought for in the writ petition stands rejected; the first respondent (CRA) is directed to continue the enquiry by following the procedures and by affording opportunity to the petitioner and complete it and pass orders within a period of four months from date of receipt of the order,” he said.
The petitioner has not established lack of jurisdiction or otherwise for the purpose of entertaining the writ. He is at liberty to submit objections, explanations, documents and evidences to defend his case, the order issued on 23 September said.
The MTC had initiated proceedings under the Tamil Nadu Property (Protection of Damages and Loss) Act, 1992, for compensation for losses incurred due to non-operation and partial operation of buses between 24 April, 2013 and 19 May, 2013 owing to the riots triggered by a duel at Marakkanam on the day the Chithirai Thiruvizha was held at Mamallapuram by the PMK and Vanniar Sangam on 25 April, 2013.
The party president GK Mani was asked to appear before the CRA on 17 June, 2013.
The court opined that the petitioner ought to have submitted his reply/objections before the CRA establishing his case with relevant documents and evidences.
Saying that ordinary citizens of this great nation are mostly voiceless, the judge stated that constitutional courts are the voices for those majority citizens for the purpose of protecting their fundamental and Constitutional rights.
MTC had stated before the court that 58 buses were damaged -- 12 in Chennai, 26 in Thiruvallur and the remaining in Kancheepuram -- by members of the PMK and the losses ran to several crores.
The judge stressed, “The PPDL Act shall be implemented scrupulously by the authorities in order to protect public properties.”
He directed the CRA to issue a circular to all district collectors and SPs to ensure immediate action in the event of any damage or loss to property under the TNPPDL Act and failure, if any, should be viewed seriously and appropriate actions are to be initiated against public authorities for dereliction of duties.