HC dismisses petition by Bethel Nagar residents in encroachment case

The petitioner’s association submitted that residents have been living there for more than 25 years and have electricity and water connections and secured all government ID proofs.
HC dismisses petition by Bethel Nagar residents in encroachment case
Madras High Court

Chennai: Observing that water bodies and grazing lands should have to be preserved and assignment of lands to the poor and needy can be granted only in the non-objectionable encroachments, the Madras High Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition filed by Bethel Nagar Residents’ Welfare Association to reclassify the meikal poramboke to allot housing sites in Injambakkam Chennai.

“The government cannot fritter away or dispose of the poramboke lands in any manner whatsoever. Rather, the specialised porambokes such as water bodies and meikkal poramboke must be preserved for the purpose for which they’ve been earmarked. Assignment of lands, if any, to the poor or needy can be granted only in the non-objectionable encroachments or poramboke lands in which the purpose of housing can be permitted,” the first bench, comprising Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy, held while disposing of a petition filed by the residents’ welfare association.

The petitioner’s association submitted that residents have been living there for more than 25 years and have electricity and water connections and secured all government ID proofs. “We’ve asked the government to allot patta for the remaining 860 families residing there but no steps have been taken to allot pattas,” the petitioner argued.

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