The first bench of the Madras High Court, comprising acting chief justice Huluvadi G Ramesh and justice R Mahadevan, on February 27, 2017, directed the state government to come up with a comprehensive policy regarding conversion of agricultural land into layouts, at the earliest.
Seeking to prevent further development of unauthorised layouts and conversion of agricultural areas for non-agriculture use in an unplanned way, the court had, on September 9, 2016, restrained the registration authorities in Tamil Nadu from registering sale deeds for plots in such layouts or any flats or buildings constructed on them.
The interim order then was given on a PIL from ‘Elephant’ Rajendran, an advocate, seeking to forbear authorities concerned, from giving approval or permission to convert agricultural land into layouts and construct flats or buildings on them.
A bunch of impleading petitions were then filed by various developers and individuals, seeking relaxation to the blanket order, which came up for hearing on February 27, 2017, before the court.
Additional advocate general Ayyadurai, submitted that the government had proposed to categorise the lands into four divisions – recognised, unrecognised, wetlands and dry lands. The bench then asked him to take immediate policy decision on the matter, keeping in view the different categories and to come up with a solution at an early date and posted the matter for further hearing to March 28, 2017.