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48-hour deadline for Vepery inspector to evict tenant
Observing that land grabbers and real estate mafia are utilising the opportunity of judicial proceedings and prolonging cases in Civil Courts in a bid to usurp valuable property belonging to poor, aged and widows, the Madras High Court has directed the Inspector of Police Station Vepery to evict a tenant within 48 hours.
Disposing a plea moved by one J Sekar, a tenant, seeking to direct the Vepery police not to interfere with the premises he had rented as it pertains to a civil dispute, Justice S M Subramaniam said, “The petitioner is not entitled for the relief as sought for in view of the fact that once a complaint is given before the Police Station, the Station Officer is bound to register the case and initiate appropriate action in accordance with law.”
“Such an action initiated can never be prevented by the courts. It is for the investigating officer to investigate the facts and circumstances, collect evidence and prosecute the persons in the manner known to law. Thus, the very relief sought for is absolutely misconceived and such a relief, preventing the Inspector of Police from initiating action and the complaints, can never be granted by this court,” the judge added.
As per the case, Sekar was a tenant in the premises situated at Dharmaraja Koil Street, Choolai, Chennai. He was inducted as tenant in 1998 by the father of Loganathan (Respondent) in a 240 sq.ft. area. According to Sekar he paid Rs.2.50 lakh to Loganathan’s father and a sale deed was executed in his favour. Later Loganathan’s father died and Sekar filed a civil suit in relating to the property, which is pending. While so he started demolishing the portion rented to him stating that he is the owner of the area of 240 Sq.feet. This was objected to by the widow. Subsequently, she along with her son Loganathan moved complaint before the police about Sekar’s illegal activities and an eviction petition before the civil court.
Stating that it has become a regular practice in Chennai to grab the valuable properties of the poor, Justice Subramaniam said, “At the outset, the idea of the petitioner is to grab the property in one way or other, which is a valuable one. Under these circumstances, the complaint was filed by the Land owners before the Police which is pending. Even as per the averments made on the writ affidavit, no sale deed was executed by the father of the said Loganathan who a minor at that time was now a major. Even if a sale deed was registered, such a sale deed is certainly null and void.”
Besides noting that the building is in a dilapidated condition and it is the duty of the tenant to inform the landlord who is empowered to repair it, the judge said “The total arrears of rent is about Rs.2.89 lakh. Therefore, the question of refund of the amount of Rs.2.50 lakh received by the father of said Loganathan does not arise at all in view of the rental arrears.”
The Inspector of Police is directed to evict the writ petitioner from the premises and hand over the same to the land owner within 48 hours, the judge added.