HC interim order restrains acquisition of school playground, for Chennai Metro Rail

The Madras HC has directed the land acquisition officer to give a personal hearing to the Good Shepherd Convent, before issuing any notice for the acquisition of nearly three-fourths of the land of the school’s playground, for the Chennai Metro Rail project

The Madras High Court has restrained authorities from issuing the notification, for acquiring a portion of the playground of century-old Good Shepherd Convent in Chennai, for the metro rail project.

Justice V Bharathidasan passed the interim order on a petition by the school, seeking to quash the June 13 last preliminary notice issued by the land acquisition officer, proposing to acquire 3,590 sq metres of land of the institution, for constructing a corridor for a metro station.

The judge directed the land acquisition officer to give a personal hearing to the petitioner on October 1, 2018, consider the objections and pass orders on it, before issuing a notification under Section 3 (1) of the Tamil Nadu Acquisition of Land for Industrial Purposes Act, the judge added. Until final orders, the authorities were restrained from issuing any notification under the Act, he said, adjourning the petition by four weeks.

See also: Chennai-Salem Expressway: Madras HC upholds Land Act provisions as advantageous to land owners

The grievance of the petitioner was that almost three-fourths of the playground, provided by the school for the betterment of physical and mental health of the students, was being sought to be acquired. Although the land acquisition was sought for public purpose, considering the plight of the students, the authorities can reconsider the issue and seek an alternative site, senior counsel Xavier Arulraj, appearing on behalf of the convent, submitted. He contended that the petitioner had already made its objection before the acquisition officer concerned but it had not been considered so far.


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