The Madras High Court has directed the Pallavaram Tahsildar to remove an encroachment put up by the Evangelical Church of India (ECI) on government hill poramboke in Tiruneermalai within eight weeks.
After ECI encroached the land and constructed a church, a representation was submitted in 2002 to the Kancheepuram Collector, who in turn directed the Tambaram Tahsildar to evict and report within 48 hours.
In the legal battle that followed, the court had held in 2010 and 2012 that the church has to be removed. Despite that, and even after the latest order in 2019, the encroachment was not removed, said the petition.
After perusing the proceedings by the Collector, Land Administration Commissioner and the order of the Revisional Authority dated January 8, the bench led by Justice Sathyanarayanan said: “The ECI, with absolute impunity, had encroached upon the land belonging to the government and not stopping with that, has also put up a wholly unauthorised structure in the form of a religious structure.”
Directing its demolition, the bench asked the police to provide protection for removing it.
The bench also directed the Pallavaram Tahsildar to verify religious and other structures on government land, and file a status report on the removal of encroachments and demolish unauthorised structures.
The plea was posted to March 6 for reporting compliance.