TN Chief Secy, 4 others appear before court

Chennai: Four high ranking government officials holdings IAS ranks, including Tamilnadu Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan today appeared in person before the Madras High Court in connection with a contempt of court plea for disobeying direct orders passed by a division bench of the city’s judiciary.

The State government had acquired land in Koyambedu from 12 people including petitioner Somu, for establishing the vegetable wholesale market. After the market was completed, the petitioners had sought through the court, the return of the land which was not used for the market.

In 2013, the Madras High Court had ordered the State government to return the unused land.

The State Government had back then appealed against the order of the Madras High court in the Supreme Court. But the apex court had suspended the appeal and upheld the decision of the Madras High Court. But, inspite of the court orders, the Tamilnadu Housing Board and Urban Development Board had not returned the land.

So, a division bench of Justices K K Sasidharan and P Velmurugan on Monday ordered, Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan, the then Secretary to the Housing and Urban Development Department, Dharmendra Pratap Yadav, Member Secretary, CMDA, Vijaya Rajkumar and currently Principal Secretary to the Housing and Urban Development Department, S Krishnan to appear before the court today.

During earlier hearing on 12 October, the bench had granted three weeks time to comply with and the deadline expired on 2 November.

However, with a view to giving more time to the authorities, the bench said it had granted time till today.

The Chief Secretary argued in court that the State Government was ready to give land to them at another place inside the city which has equal value as the current place in Koyambedu as buildings have already been constructed for other purposes.

The court rapped the State government saying that the Judiciary should not be at the mercy of the State for implementation of its orders. In case the order passed by this court is not complied with by the State in spite of confirming the same by the Supreme Court, the citizen would lose faith and this court is flooded with contempt petitions.

The court has now postponed the case for tomorrow for further hearing.

         

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