‘Law can’t be bent for people who commit mistake knowingly’: Madras HC

The building owner of a commercial building complex had filed a petition seeking a direction to open the building, which was sealed by the corporation. 
Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court
Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court

MADURAI:  The Madurai bench of Madras HC imposed a cost of Rs 2 lakh on the owner of a commercial building complex for constructing it in violation of the plan approved by the Madurai Corporation.

The building owner, N Shankar, had filed a petition seeking a direction to open the building, which was sealed by the corporation. 

A bench of Justices S Vaidyanathan and D Bharatha Chakravarthy while dismissing the petition said the petitioner was aware of the deviation from the original plan while constructing it. The court said the violators deviated from the plan in the hope that the law would not take its course in a fast manner.

“Law can be bent for the people, who have committed mistake out of ignorance, but certainly not for the people like the petitioner, who did it with ulterior motive and intention of cheating the government and the court. The petitioner is not seeking to bend the law, but to break it,” the court said. 

The court further said the government should think of amending legislation such as the Tamil Nadu Town and Country Planning Act, 1971, District Municipalities Act and other enactments that deal with the removal of illegal constructions and encroachments, to the effect that for buildings that are constructed in violation of the plan, the charges like electricity, property and water tax, etc., should be collected five-fold (sometimes even upto 10 times) at the rate applicable to commercial buildings even for residential houses.
The court said it had earlier directed the government to constitute a permanent Special Task Force and it is not known whether such a task force has been constituted. 

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