Madras HC directs authorities to allot pattas to Adi Dravidars within three months

The court said that over one hectare of land was identified and official proceedings to issue the pattas was ongoing.
The court said that over one hectare of land was identified and official proceedings to issue the pattas was ongoing.
The court said that over one hectare of land was identified and official proceedings to issue the pattas was ongoing.(Representational Photo)

MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court directed authorities in Dindigul district to identify the list of beneficiaries from the Adi Dravidar community and issue them with free pattas for constructing homes within the next three months.

Justice GR Swaminathan heard the plea filed by P Selvakumar, which said that around 500 families belonging to the Scheduled Caste living in the village had applied for free sites for constructing homes to the government. Though the process of issuing the free sites started in 2012, it was delayed. After social activists intervened, it was taken up again in 2020. Soon, a proposal of a new taluk office in the identified site was made and the allocation of the land was stopped.

The court said that over one hectare of land was identified and official proceedings to issue the pattas was ongoing. Only the formal demarcation of the land was to be done, after which the free housing sites could have been allotted to the petitioners. But after the proposal of the new taluk office, the authorities abruptly stopped the proceedings of issuing pattas. By prioritising the taluk office, they have breached the allottees' legitimate expectations. The authorities took matters into their own hands and decided for themselves that an alternative site can be allotted for housing a large community.

The court further added that wherever the taluk office would be constructed, development will follow. But expecting people to live at any given place is not practical or morally correct. If the authorities had taken a holistic perspective, they would have concluded that housing 500 families is more important than building a taluk office. That would have been a benevolent exercise of power. 

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