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Planned Development Will Remain A Pipe Dream Due To Unauthorised Construction By Builders And Failure Of Govt Officials: Madras High Court

Upasana Sajeev
19 Jan 2023 12:31 PM GMT
Planned Development Will Remain A Pipe Dream Due To Unauthorised Construction By Builders And Failure Of Govt Officials: Madras High Court

While directing demolition of an unauthorised construction in Tiruchirappalli, the Madras High Court said that though various enactments are in force to achieve planned development, it will remain a pipe dream because of continuous unauthorised constructions by builders and inaction of government.

"Several enactments are set in stone to achieve “Planned Development” in the city. However, the same will remain a pipe dream, due to unauthorized construction by builders and failure of the government officials to take subsequent action. Without strict enforcement of building norms, even the courts will be unable to issue directives to help the beneficiaries or owners of the building, who have purchased the property for a valuable consideration, ignorance of the deviations in construction," said the court

The division bench of Justice R Mahadevan and Justice Sathya Narayana Prasad of the Madurai bench ordered demolition of the unauthorised portion of a four-story building. The court also noted that by not taking any action, the officers concerned had indirectly encouraged the promoter to continue with the illegal construction.

"Admittedly, in the present case, the entire building was constructed in deviation of the approved planning permission and the same calls for immediate demolition and restoration of the same, according to the original planning approval, but the officials concerned have not taken steps to that effect despite several directions issued by this court and that, they have indirectly encouraged the promoter to continue the act of unauthorised construction and sell the flats to the innocent buyers, without valid permission and approval. Such callous attitude on the part of the officials concerned cannot be countenanced by this court."

The court also ordered departmental action against the erring officials, who failed to take action against the illegal construction. The court also directed the promoter to pay adequate compensation or alternative accommodation to the buyers of the flats within a period of six weeks.

The court was hearing a plea by G Shanmugasundar, who along with his brother owned some land in Tiruchirapalli. They entered into a joint venture agreement with the promoter for construction.

The petitioner submitted that the promoter along with the petitioner's brother had deviated from the approved plan and made unauthorised construction. Further, the Electricity Board Transformer was unauthorisedly shifted contrary to original planning permit.

The court agreed that the constructions were made in deviation of the approved planning permit. The promoter had also encroached the Highways Road, it said.

Further, even though the court had previously ordered for removal of the encroachment, no action was taken by the promoter to get revised planning permit or by the authorities to remove the encroachment.

Citing various judgments of the Supreme Court and the High Courts, the bench noted that the courts have time and again ruled in favour of demolition of unauthorised construction thus sending strong warning signal to perpetrators of such offences.

Thus, the court ordered for demolition of unauthorised construction and restoration of the subject building including Electricity Board transformer according to the plan approval granted by the competent authority, forthwith, without causing further delay.

Case Title: G Shanmugasundar v. The Principal Secretary to Government and others

Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Mad) 21

Case No: Writ Petition (MD) No. 23772 of 2022

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