HC stays order against commercial building in Masinagudi

  • | Saturday | 4th September, 2021

Chennai, Sep 4 (PTI) The Madras High Court has ordered maintenance of status-quo in respect of an order of the Masinagudi panchayat in The Nilgiris district, which restrained an individual from running a restaurant and a lodging house in the village, on the ground that he had not obtained the permission to do so. Justice N Anand Venkatesh granted the injunction while passing interim orders on a writ petition from Nawab Safath Ali Khan, who had raised the commercial building on his private land measuring 3.97 acres in Masinagudi. After listening to the arguments of advocate Abudu Kumar Rajarathinam, the judge said he does not want to confine himself in deciding the issue between the petitioner and the respondent panchayat, since larger issues with very wide ramifications are involved. These issues must be necessarily answered to ensure that a balance is maintained between the environment and the livelihood of those persons, who depend upon the revenue earned through tourism, the judge said and impleaded the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests in New Delhi and 10 other State authorities as party-respondents in the case and posted the matter for further hearing on September 9. The legal issues as to whether the eco-sensitive zone notified by the Environment and Forests Ministry in December 2019 subsumes all repugnant laws of the State in respect of the areas earmarked under the notification and whether the state can impose restrictions on existing land use, which has been specifically protected under the Centre"s notification, will be decided on that day, the judge said and wondered whether the local body can exercise powers under the Tamil Nadu Panchayat Building Rules, 1997 after the Tamil Nadu Combined Development and Building Rules, 2019 came into force. Earlier, Rajarathinam told the judge that the petitioner had converted his residential building to a commercial one in June 2010 after obtaining necessary permissions from the authorities concerned and he had been regularly paying the fees and taxes. Despite the licenses and fees and taxes being collected by the panchayat, it issued the impugned proceedings on January 27 this year stating that the petitioner is running a commercial establishment on a residential building without proper license and permission. The petitioner has been illegally prevented from conducting his lawful business of running a resort and a restaurant in accordance with law, he contended. PTI COR SA APR APR

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