Chennai: The Madras high court has reserved orders on a Public Interest Litigation, challenging the construction of an arch to mark former chief minister M.G.Ramachandran’s birth centenary year across Kamarajar Salai. In the PIL, advocate Dinesh Kumar sought to restrain the state government from constructing ‘MGR Centenary Arch’ allegedly encroaching Kamarajar Salai in the city.
A division bench comprising Justices S.Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad reserved orders after hearing both sides.
When the petition came up for hearing on Thursday, additional government pleader E.Manoharan produced a report submitted by the highways department, as directed by the court earlier. Listing out the state highways roads, the report said the MGR Centenary Arch constructed in Kamarajar Salai comes under the control of Greater Chennai Corporation. Kamarajar Salai from Reserve Bank of India to Light House was not a state highway, the report added.
Citing a judgment of the Supreme Court, Advocate V.Elangovan, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that no permanent structure can be constructed on highways. The same was applicable to Chennai Municipal Corporation also. A road was a road whether it was laid on the land belonging to highways or corporation.
The resolution, granting permission to construct the Arch, passed by the Chennai Municipal Corporation was bad in law. Corporation has no authority to pass such a resolution, which was contrary to the Act.
Only for political reasons, the resolution was passed. Public interest prevails over political interest. It was purely a political interest, he added....