A division bench comprising Justice M Sathyanarayanan and Justice R Hemalatha made the observation on Monday while hearing a plea moved by the South Indian National Association alleging violation of setback rules and other building norms and regulations by two builders.
When the counsel appearing for the civic body tried to explain that the petitions failed to name the builders, the bench pointed out that the representation was sent in February and that the Corporation was yet to respond.
“It’s unfortunate that the Corporation fails to act even in cases where legal notices are issued and prima facie violations are found,” the bench said.
Noting that the Corporation as usual had failed to respond in the case in hand as well, the bench led by Justice Sathyanarayanan said, “The attitude on the part of the officials to respond every time after court intervention to set things right would not help.”
Justice Satyanarayanan also came down heavily on the petitioners for using the court as a “collecting centre” for gathering details about the violations on their behalf. The bench further sought to know why the petitioner had failed to approach the Chennai Metropolitan Development Agency (CMDA) to find whether building approval has been obtained.
The bench also pointed out that such details could be easily obtained from CMDA through the Right to Information Act. But the petitioners instead moved the High Court to obtain such details. Allowing private notice to those who have reportedly put up the unauthorised construction, the bench directed the city Corporation to file a status report with supporting documents, and posted the plea for further hearing to December 3.