CDJ Legal News

Madras High Court directs DMK MP Kalanidhi to vacate government property in Chennai within a month, or face eviction.

12:38 PM, Friday,15 September 2023

The Court granted time till October 10, for the MP, a doctor by profession and son of former Minister ‘Arcot’ N. Veeerasamy, to vacate the land in Koyambedu, on which he has built a private hospital

The Madras High Court, on Friday directed DMK Member of Parliament V. Kalanidhi, son of former Minister Arcot N. Veerasamy, to vacate, within a month, government land on which he had constructed a private hospital in Koyambedu in Chennai, failing which he would face eviction proceedings.

Justice S.M. Subramaniam granted time till October 15 to the MP, representing the Chennai North parliamentary constituency, who is also a doctor by profession, to vacate the property and hand over possession to the competent authorities, failing which the Chennai Collector was directed to evict him forthwith.

The orders were passed while dismissing two writ petitions filed by the MP in 2017 against the acquisition proceedings initiated with respect to part of the land for the Chennai Metro Rail (CMRL) project, and the refusal to pay him compensation on the grounds that the property actually belonged to the State government.

Stating that he and his family members had purchased the property from a group of vendors in 1995, the petitioner said, the land had been classified as Grama Natham (common village land) in the revenue records and that the government could not claim any right over properties that had been classified so.

However, rejecting his contention, the judge said, there were no materials on file to prove as to how the petitioner’s vendors had obtained title over the property. He also said, Grama Natham was the classification used for common village lands which could be assigned to the landless poor for residential purpose alone, if those properties were not required for the common use.

In the present case, the land had been reclassified as Government Poromboke and the necessary entries were made in the revenue registers since the city of Chennai could not be construed as a village in order to continue the classification of the land as Grama Natham. Further, a ban was also imposed as early as in 1962 against assigning these land to individuals, the judge said.

Even assuming that such a reclassification had not been done, Grama Natham could be assigned and used only for residential purposes, and not for the commercial purpose of running a private hospital, the judge said and recalled that a Division Bench of the High Court had held that a Grama Natham could not even be promoted as an apartment through a joint venture.

“The patta issued by the Tahsildar (in favour of the writ petitioner) explicitly portrays that there is a possibility of political abuse. The family members of the petitioner belong to the prominent political party (DMK) and the father of the writ petitioner was the honourable Minister in the Government of Tamil Nadu for more than one tenure,” the judge wrote.

He went on write: “This court has been witnessing a multitude of cases in which the government lands had been assigned to the powerful and influential members of the society who may not be bonafide applicants and in turn these government lands are used for commercial purposes.”

The judge also said: “The government is not empowered to grant lands based on whims and fancies. A guideline needs to be put in place to ensure that power in assignment of Grama Natham lands is bridled and used for the rightful purposes to the rightful people. The government is not just for politicians and party men. It is the representative of the common man.”