The Tamil Nadu government, on May 5, 2017, submitted its plot regularisation scheme and land use conversion rules, to a bench of chief justice Indira Banerjee and justice M Sundar of the Madras High Court. The bench had asked additional advocate general Ayyadurai, on May 4, 2017, to submit the new rules and circulate them to the stakeholders, to enable them submit their views.
The counsel submitted to the bench, the government order (GO) passed by the Housing and Urban Development Department dated May 4, notifying the ‘Regularisation of Unapproved Plots and Layouts Rules 2017’. The ‘Tamil Nadu Change of Land Use (from Agriculture to Non-Agriculture purposes in Non-Planning Areas) Rules 2017’, too was submitted. The new rules, which came into force from immediate effect, exempts all unapproved layouts and plots, where any or all plots were sold and registered on or before October 20, 2016, from the purview of the Tamil Nadu Town and Country Planning Act, 1971.
On September 9, 2016, the bench of erstwhile chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul had ordered a blanket ban, on the registration of all unapproved layouts and change of agricultural lands into housing plots. The court had said it was necessary to prevent further development of unauthorised layouts and conversion of agricultural areas for non-farm use. It would also help save the ecology and prevent flooding, the court had said, giving time for the government to come out with the necessary policy and the legislative changes.
During the latest proceedings, the bench of chief justice Banerjee had also been told that as many as 9,760 unapproved plots and house sites, converted from agricultural land, had been registered in Tamil Nadu from September 9, 2016 till March 28, 2017, despite a blanket ban. The matter was posted to May 12, for further hearing.