HC issues contempt notice to Chennai Development Authority over regularisation of unauthorised buildings

[] Taking a dim view of the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority’s failure to hold meetings, to frame rules on the regularisation of unauthorised buildings in the city, the Madras High Court has issued a contempt notice to its member secretary

The Madras High Court on November 1, 2016, issued a contempt notice to the member secretary, Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA), asking why action should not be taken against the body for disobeying its July 18 order, over holding meetings and framing rules on issues related to regularisaton of buildings.

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“We regret to note that practically no part of our direction in our order dated July 18, 2016, has been complied with,” the court said. The matter relates to public interest litigation petitions, to call for the emergency meeting of the monitoring committee and ensure its periodical meetings. The petitions also relate to implementing the Committee’s decision, with respect to regularisation of unauthorised buildings. The petitioners had challenged the practice of allowing unfettered violations of building rules by announcing regularisation schemes.

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Observing that the last meeting of the CMDA’s monitoring committee was held on July 8, 2016, the court pointed out that no meeting was held thereafter, despite its direction to have a monthly meeting.

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It referred to its previous order in October 2016, wherein, it had found fault with the authorities, for not framing guidelines and rules under Section 113-C of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1971 and making it clear that the deviators cannot have any remedy, till the guidelines and rules were framed.

“This, prima facie, appears to be a deliberate attempt to scuttle our order and no court can countenance the same. On one hand, no decision has been taken in the policy matter (framing of rules) and on the other hand, the meetings are also not being called, nor are the directions of this court being followed,” the court said. The court then issued a contempt notice to the member secretary, CMDA and also directed him to be present personally before it and posted the matter for further hearing to November 16, 2016.

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