Chennai: The Madras high court has declined to defer the demolition of the fourth to eighth floors of Billroth hospital, constructed unauthorizedly at Shenoy Nagar in the city, till a final decision is taken by authorities on the application made by the hospital for regularisation.
A division bench comprising Justices RMT Teeka Raman and P.D.Audikesavalu dismissed the petitions filed by Billroth Hospital, which sought to vacate the interim directions given by the court on May 9 and to direct the authorities not to take any coercive steps against the hospital pursuant to that order.
Passing interim orders on a petition filed by P.Krishnan, a vacation bench had on May 9 issued several directions including the directions for immediate cessation of the use of fourth to eighth floors of the building of the hospital and for demolition of the same after May 31.
In its present order, the bench said it was apparent that the Billroth hospital has not been prudent enough to even immediately avail the golden opportunity extended by the government of Tamil Nadu to regularise unauthorised constructions under section 113-C of the Tamil Nadu Town and Country Planning Act by issuing a GO dated June 22, 2017, within the stipulated time and that the endeavour to submit that application only after the petitioner started to make enquiries in that regard with authorities would clearly go to show that the conduct of the hospital was not bona fide.
“Having regard to the findings on the two crucial aspects as to the date of completion of the unauthorized construction as on July 1, 2007, as well as the failure to submit the application for regularization immediately within the time frame initially provided under the GO, it necessarily gives to the inference that the plea to await the outcome of application for regularisation is only a desperate bid to somehow protract the eventual demolition of the unauthorized construction so as to enjoy the illegal gains indefinitely at the risk of public safety, which cannot be countenanced. In that view of the matter, we are convinced that there is no justification to defer the demolition of the fourth to eighth floors of the building of the Billroth hospital under that pretext. Resultantly, we hold that the order dated May 9, 2019, passed by this court does not require any variation and has to be implemented in its entirety”, the bench added.
Referring to the request made by senior counsel, appearing for the hospital, seeking time, the bench said, “We reluctantly extend time for disconnecting electricity supply to the fourth to eighth floors of the building of the Billroth hospital till June 15. It is made clear that the Billroth hospital shall not be entitled to admit any patients in the said floors misusing such indulgence shown by this court. The process of demolition of the building shall accordingly commence from June 16 onwards under the supervision of T.Mohan, Amicus Curiae appointed by this court in the order dated May 9 and a status report shall be filed along with photographs and video-graphs of the same and such other particulars as directed in the manner indicated in the order dated May 9”.The bench posted the matter to June 24, for further orders.