A division bench comprising Justice M Sathyanarayanan and Justice AA Nakkiran, before whom the plea moved by a couple came up, said: “A careful scrutiny and consideration of the materials would disclose that the site owned by the petitioners falls under the Coastal Regulation Zone and also Aquifer Recharge Area. That apart, the petitioners, in a brazen violation of the procedures established under law, started putting up a wholly unauthorised construction in the form of ground plus additional floors, which is likely to be used for commercial exploitation.”
As per the case, the petitioners -- A Muthumalai and M Mahalakshmi -- had purchased the said property and put up constructions in 1981 but had applied for planning approval before Chitlapakkam Panchayat only in 1995. However, the application was rejected as it is an unapproved layout.
Thereafter, they resorted to availing the Regularisation Scheme of the Town and Country Planning Act through Kottivakkam Panchayat in 1999 which is still pending consideration. Meanwhile, the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority sealed both the buildings, which was converted as one.
It was contended that in the light of the benevolence available in the form of Section 113-A of the TCP Act for regularisation of the unauthorised construction which came into being before 1999, the acts of the authorities in locking and sealing of both the premises are not in order.
However, the bench, citing various Supreme Court and Madras High Court orders which frowned upon the illegal acts of persons in putting up unauthorised constructions, said: “In the light of the well-settled legal proposition, this court finds no error or infirmity in the impugned order of the Secretary to Government, Housing & Urban Development offering time to demolish the building and submit a fresh planning permission application as per site condition.”