The first bench of the Madras High Court, comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M Sundar, on January 30, 2017, declined to vacate the order banning the registration of plots and houses, whose layout had not been approved and conversion of agricultural land for non-farming purposes in an unplanned manner in Tamil Nadu. The court was hearing a batch of impleading petitions, filed by various developers and individuals seeking relaxation of the order.
The bench also directed the government to find a comprehensive solution to address the menace of conversion of agricultural lands into housing plots and posted the case for further hearing to February 27, 2017. When Advocate General R Muthukumaraswamy requested for some more time, to enable the government to finalise the rules to address the issue, the court said, “It should not be a piecemeal exercise. A comprehensive solution is what is needed now.”
Rejecting the pleas of some of the counsel representing developers and land owners for relaxation of the ban, at least for the buildings already constructed on unapproved layouts, it said, “Any indulgence on this score would take the matter back to square one.” The court on September 8, 2016, while hearing a PIL, had banned the registration of unapproved plots and houses and conversion of agricultural land for non-farming purposes.