Madras High Court orders Tamil Nadu Housing Board to file comprehensive report on encroached land

The encroachers raised tall buildings and have been running a company on the property.
Madras High Court
Madras High Court(File photo | Express)

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has ordered the Tamil Nadu Housing Board (TNHB) to submit a comprehensive report within three months on the land that was acquired but could not be utilised for scheme works due to encroachments and court litigations.

A division bench of Justices SS Sundar and N Senthilkumar passed the orders recently while allowing a petition filed by a resident of Nerkundram in Chennai praying for orders to the TNHB to evict the encroachments made on the land belonging to the state body by demolishing unauthorised constructions.

“The Tamil Nadu Housing Board is directed to report before this Court the details of the lands which are acquired but no scheme or project of the Board is being implemented on account of encroachment by third parties or by pendency of writ petitions or for other reasons,” the bench said in the order.

It directed the TNHB to file the detailed report along with documents by the end of September 2024 when the matter is posted for reporting compliance.

The petition was filed by B Parthiban of Nerkundram. He sought the court to quash an order passed by the Secretary of Tamil Nadu Housing and Urban Development on April 11, 2019.

The Secretary, by the order, decided in favour of regularising the buildings raised by N Narayanamurthy and his wife N Jayanthi on about 40 cents of land belonging to the TNHB, stating that the construction was raised before February 28, 1999, the cut-off date for regularisation.

The encroachers raised tall buildings and have been running a company on the property, he said.

Parthiban contended that the order of the Secretary passed on an appeal against the eviction order of the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) and the TNHB was illegal because the encroachers were not even entitled to regularisation as the land does not belong to them. TNHB, in fact, acquired the land in 1975.

The bench quashed the order of the Secretary of TN Housing and Urban Development department and directed him to dispose of the appeal preferred by Narayanamurthy within six weeks and take appropriate action for eviction by removing the encroachment, depending upon the outcome of the appeal.

Holding that a statutory revision filed by him against the enforcement action has no merits, the bench directed the respondent authorities to proceed to take ‘enforcement action’ for the demolition of the building in accordance with the law.

When the counsel for Narayanamurthy requested time till December 2024 for vacating the building since several persons would lose their jobs if it is demolished immediately, the court directed him to file an affidavit of undertaking that they will vacate the premises by the end of December and they have not created any third-party rights in the entire extent of 40 cents. The court adjourned the matter by a week to consider the request for granting time.

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