Seeking to prevent further development of unauthorised layouts and conversion of agricultural areas for non-agriculture use in an unplanned way, the Madras High Court has restrained authorities in Tamil Nadu from registering sale deeds for plots in such layouts, or any flats or buildings constructed on them.
“This order becomes necessary, to prevent further development of unauthorised layouts and conversion of agricultural areas for non-agriculture use in an unplanned manner, as also to save the ecology and prevent flooding,” the first bench, comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice R Mahadevan said, while giving time to the government to come out with the necessary policy documents and legislative changes.
The bench stated this, while passing an interim order on a PIL from an advocate ‘Elephant’ Rajendran, seeking to refrain the concerned authorities, from giving approvals or permissions, to convert agricultural land into layouts and construct flats or buildings on them. Earlier, when the matter came up on August 5, 2016, the bench had directed senior officers of the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority and registration department, to be personally present in court to explain the situation and to enable it to pass orders.
In the latest hearing on September 9, 2016, the government submitted that that the authority concerned cannot refuse registration, where plots in unauthorised colonies are sought to be registered. Asked how this could be so, the bench was informed that the boundaries of the area of which registration is sought, have to be specified in the sale deed.
To this, the bench said that “The sale itself will become incapable of registration, when the developer sells the unauthorised property where sanction has not been obtained to develop the layouts,” and added that the government should to develop some thought process for plans and bring into force Section 22-A of the Registration (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Act, 2008.
The bench then directed that no registering authority in the state shall register any sale deed. “We hereby, direct that no registering authority shall register any sale deed, in respect of any plots in unauthorised layouts or any flats/buildings constructed on such plots,” the bench said. It also directed the inspector general of registration to circulate the order to all the registering authorities forthwith, for compliance and posted the matter for further hearing, to October 21, 2016.