Madras High Court
Madras High Court

Govt firm ‘no’ to Sastra offer to provide alternate land

While the first bench of Chief Justice MN Bhandari and Justice N Mala took the matter, J Ravindran, Additional Advocate General, made these submissions.

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government on Tuesday made it clear before the Madras High Court that the State is not ready to accept the offer of Shanmugha Arts, Science, Technology and Research Academy (Sastra) to provide alternate lands for the ones which they had allegedly occupied and erected constructions in the outskirts of Thanjavur.

While the first bench of Chief Justice MN Bhandari and Justice N Mala took the matter, J Ravindran, Additional Advocate General, made these submissions.

Senior Counsel G Rajagopal, appearing for the SASTRA university, submitted that the State government had issued a GO in May for exchanging the lands with the public, and his client institution is ready to surrender some alternate lands for the government lands on which the buildings were constructed.

However, the AAG noted that the new GO will not apply to the institution as they possess 31.37 acres of government land for more than 35 years and made constructions on them. The AAG also noted that the lands occupied by the institution were earmarked for constructing an open prison facility and the same was illegally occupied.

“The private institution had also encroached on the water bodies and the petitioner cannot inherit a common GO issued by the government in their convenience,” the AAG submitted.

Recording the submissions, the bench asked the AAG to get instructions from the government and file a counter within three days to explain whether the GO issued by the State will apply to SASTRA or not.

The matter has been adjourned to August 8.

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