Madras HC orders TNHB to submit report on unused lands due to encroachments

Petition seeks to quash order passed by govt that regularised buildings of encroachers
Madras High Court
Madras High Court(File photo | Express)

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has sought a report within three months about all the land parcels that were acquired by TNHB but could not be utilised due to encroachments. A division bench of justices S S Sundar and N Senthilkumar passed the orders while allowing a petition filed by B Parthiban of Nerkundram in Chennai on evicting encroachments.

“The Tamil Nadu Housing Board (TNHB) 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.

The bench directed the TNHB to file a detailed report along with documents by this September when the matter is posted for reporting compliance.

The petitioner 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 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 in the property, he said.

Parthiban contended that the secretary’s order passed on an appeal against the eviction order of the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) and the TNHB was illegal as the encroachers were not entitled to regularisation as the land does not belong to him. The TNHB acquired the land in 1975.

The bench quashed the secretary’s order and directed him to dispose of the appeal preferred by Narayanamurthy by six weeks and take 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 per the law.

When the counsel for Narayanamurthy requested time till December 2024 for vacating the building as several people would lose their jobs if it is demolished immediately, the court directed him to file an affidavit of undertaking that they would vacate the premises by December and they have not created any third party rights in the entire extent of 40 cents.

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