Chennai: A Public Interest Litigation has been filed in the Madras high court to direct the authorities to recover the encroached lands measuring 5 acres 91 cents, which are in possession of Arulmigu Marudheeswara Koil in Thiruvanmiyur and remove all illegal structures put up by the temple on the lands.
The First bench comprising Chief Justice V.K.Tahilramani and M.Duraiswamy, before whom the PIL filed by P.R.Sekar, Secretary of Thiruvanmiyur House Site Ownership Public Welfare Association for Natham, came up for hearing, ordered notice to the State government, Chennai Corporation and Tamil Nadu Housing Board.
The bench posted to April 24, further hearing of the case.
Petitioner’s counsel K.Elangovan submitted that the state government had in 1978 acquired 6.79 acres in Thiruvanmiyur village for Besant Nagar Housing, Phase-II scheme, wherein apartments and flats were to be constructed by the TNHB. The said scheme was floated for the purpose of providing housing to lower and middle income group of citizens. Though the ownership of the lands measuring 5.91 acres, which were claimed by temple, was in dispute, the government proceeded with the acquisition and an order was passed in 1983, he added.
He said the award shows that the temple had claimed compensation for the land the same was also contested by one Jagadeesan, claiming that his father was in possession of the land from the year 1954 till his death in 1972 and thereafter jagadeesan claimed to have been in possession. Since there was dispute over ownership, the award amount of Rs 4.60 lakh was deposited in a civil court in Chennai. The objection raised by temple was also rejected.
Therefore, the award proceedings confirmed that the possession has been taken over by the government and the temple has got no right whatsoever in the land and any claim made by them will run counter to the records maintained by the government, he added.
He said till the year 2011, the lands were lying vacant and for the reasons best known to the housing board, there was no housing scheme promoted though the acquisition scheme was meant for construction of flats. The temple through its executive officer trespassed in the lands in 2012, despite still opposition from the public. It also started making illegal constructions in the lands without obtaining proper building and planning permission from the authorities.
The temple was also proposing to open a Kalyana Mandapam now. Therefore, the petitioner sent a representation to the authorities to remove the encroachment made by the temple on the land acquired by the TNHB. But, there was no response. Hence, the petitioner has filed the present petition, Elangovan added.