Madras High Court: Laws not dynamic on encroachments

Coming down heavily on enactments to root out encroachments as ‘not dynamic in nature’, the Madras High Court has held, “The Act instead of evicting the illegal persons, gives room for the violators to continue by approaching this court and stall the entire proceedings.”
Madras High Court: Laws not dynamic on encroachments
Madras High Court


Dismissing a plea by a road encroacher in Nerkundram on the outskirts of Chennai seeking to quash an eviction notice as no proper procedures had been followed, a division bench comprising justices M Venugopal and S Vaidyanathan said, “Unless the law is stringent, the violators will continue to violate and that the courts/ authorities must be very slow in granting interim orders.” 
Also describing petitioner Mahalakshmi, who had occupied 20 feet of road as a ‘rank encroacher’ and quoting a French proverb, “When money speaks, truth is silent,” the bench said, “The District Municipalities Act, The Tamil Nadu Town and Country Planning Act, The Tamil Nadu Panchayats Act and the Tamil Nadu Land Encroachment Act, are all not dynamic in nature. These enactments try to regulate the illegalities, rather than curtailing it.” 
Noting that appellate authorities were able to pass interim orders within a few hours of receipt of an application/appeal from the violator, questioning the lock and seal notice, the bench said, “Such orders are passed without even hearing the authority that has passed the order of lock and seal and also without hearing the complainant, if any. There is no reason as to why such speedy action is not done in disposing of the appeal one way or the other.”
“If these kinds of interim orders are passed, the violators would be keen in getting a final order at the earliest. Otherwise, by means of the interim orders or keeping the appeal pending, law-abiding citizens are made a laughing stock before the violators and the authorities,” the bench added and sought passing of such interim orders only after getting the details/status report from the respective authorities and after verifying the revenue records, which will give a bird’s eye view on the issue on hand. 
The bench also held, “As per the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Town and Country Planning Act for passing interim order, there cannot be any blanket order, and the authorities concerned must ensure that the violated portions shall be kept under lock and seal till the disposal of the appeal, and if required, request the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board/TANGEDCO to disconnect the supply to the violated portion till the appeal is decided.”

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