CHENNAI: A vacation bench of Madras High Court on Wednesday reserved orders on an appeal preferred by Jeeva educational trust owned by PWD minister E V Velu’s son EV Kumaran seeking a direction to quash the interim stay passed by the HC restraining the appellant from installing a statue of former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi in the temple town of Tiruvannamalai.
The bench comprising Justice MS Ramesh and Justice Mohammed Shafiq reserved the orders after hearing the submissions made by the appellant’s counsel S Prabakharan as well as the state Additional Advocate General J Ravindran.
Jeeva education trust / the appellant prayed for a direction to set aside the HC order dated May 19 stating that they are planning to install the statue on their own Patta land in Vengikkal, Tiruvannamalai.
The AAG also informed the court that the statue will be installed on Patta land on June 3. They further questioned the locus standi of the original petitioner to raise this issue. “The petitioner resides at Velachery in Chennai and thus, he has no locus standi to object to the move of a private party to erect a statue for the former CM in a private land,” the AAG noted.
Recording the submissions, the bench reserved orders without mentioning any date.
The original petitioner named G Karthik stated that the land chosen for erecting the statue belongs to the government. He submitted that a local resident named Rajendran had purchased 92.5 square feet of land. However, he got patta for 225 square feet and sold the same to the education trust.
The petitioner further alleged that the education trust had encroached on a total of 300 square feet of adjacent land. The encroached land has been selected for the purpose of installing the statue. However, that particular land connects the Girivala pathai (circumambulation) and two state highways. If the statue comes there it would cause hindrance to the movement of devotees and traffic congestion would occur, the petitioner noted.
It could be recalled that when the original petition was filed, the court wanted the district administration to file a counter explaining the status of the disputed land. Since the Collector sought more time to file the counter stating that he has to obtain details from the police, revenue, and Highways Department, the judges who were dissatisfied with the submission passed an interim stay against the installation of the statue.