Chennai: The Madras high court has declined to grant blanket stay of the operation of the statutory provisions of the Tamil Nadu Town and Country Planning Act and Rules, which imposes demand/levy as shelter charges/shelter fee/shelter funds as a condition for granting building plan approvals for development of immoveable property.
A division bench comprising Justices S.Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad ordered notice, returnable by June 10, 2019 to the authorities on the petitions filed by M/s Radiance Realty Developers India Limited and two others, which sought to declare as unconstitutional, section 63D and 63 E of the Tamil Nadu Town and Country Planning Act and Rule 34 of the Tamil Nadu Combined Development and Building Rules, 2019.
The bench however directed the petitioners to pay 50 percent of the demand raised in the notices issued by the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority or the development authority concerned, as indicated in the statute.
For the balance of 50 percent of the demand, petitioners are directed to offer bank guarantee in the name of CMDA or the planning authority concerned, depending upon the area. On payment of 50 percent of shelter charges and submission of the bank guarantees, to the CMDA or the development authority in other areas, the said authorities shall process the planning permission applications submitted by the petitioners, the bench added.
Citing several judgments of the Supreme Court, the bench said, "In the light of the discussion and decisions stated supra we are not inclined to grant interim stay of the operation of the statutory provisions. Show cause notices have been issued demanding the petitioners to pay one percent of the guideline value as shelter fee. Though senior counsel A.R.L.Sunderesan and advocate G.Karthikeyan, appearing for the petitioners submitted that the amount now directed to be paid, as shelter fee is huge and that the petitioners are already burdened to pay other charges and therefore, if this court is not inclined to grant a blanket stay of the provisions, petitioners may be permitted to pay only 25 percent of the demand amount, pending disposal of the petitions, otherwise, their applications/proposals for the construction of multi storied residential buildings, will not be processed. In the light of the decisions and discussions, there cannot be a blanket stay of the provisions", the bench added and gave the above