Madras high court stays installation of statue of former CM Karunanidhi

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The Madras High Court on Thursday restrained two persons, including a DMK minister, from making any arrangement for installing the statue of former Chief Minister, the later M Karunanidhi at a public place in Tiruvannamalai.

Since the Tiruvannamalai Collector did not file a sworn affidavit after consulting his subordinates and prayed for more time to do so as directed yesterday, a vacation bench of the Madras High Court on Thursday gave the direction.

The bench of Justices S M Subramaniam and J Sathya Narayana Prasad granted the interim injunction when the PIL petition from G Karthick came up for further hearing today.

The petition prayed for a direction to the authorities concerned to remove the encroachment in Vengikkal village in Tiruvannamalai district and its surrounding areas. It alleged that A Rajendran, who was owning a land measuring 92-1/2 sq. ft., in collusion with the government authorities, secured patta over and above the land owned by him. In the encroached portion, attempts were being made to put up the construction, which would cause greater inconvenience to the public at large.

The other respondents in the petition included the name of an educational trust and DMK minister E V Velu. However, the Additional Advocate General objected to the petition by stating that there was no illegality in the matter. The writ petition was not maintainable as the petitioner had no locus to file the petition, he added.

Considering the allegations and counter allegations, the bench on May 18 observed that the petitioner had raised serious allegations regarding the encroachment, which would cause inconvenience to the public at large, more so, the alleged encroachment was a place, which was being used by lakhs of people for the holy ‘girivalam’ in Tiruvannamalai.

Further, it was contended there was a possibility of heavy traffic congestion, in the event of allowing the construction to be put up in that location and other grounds were also raised regarding the flow of water and floods during monsoon season. The bench directed the Collector to conduct an inspection, ascertain the facts and file a report in the form of sworn affidavit as to whether there was any encroachment in that locality and file the same by Thursday and had directed for status-quo till then.

When the matter came up today, the Collector stated that he has to collect details from the local SP, DRO, Highways divisional engineer, RDO, Tahsildar and the BDO, for which more time is required. Hence, he prayed for more time.

In view of the facts and circumstances, the judges said that they are inclined to grant an order of interim injunction restraining the Jeeva Educational Trust, by its managing trustee E V Kumaran, son of minister E V Velu and Velu himself in any way laying or erecting a statue or putting up any further construction in the property in question, pending disposal of the petition.

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