Madras HC rebukes officials for not acting on eviction drive order

The Madras high court on Wednesday castigated the Tiruvannamalai district administration, more particularly the then tahsildar for not implementing its earlier orders relating to removal of encroachments, passed four years ago.

The court will not hesitate even to put the tahsildar behind bars for contempt of court, the first bench of chief justice MN Bhandari and justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy said while passing further interim orders on a contempt application on Wednesday.

“It is only a beginning,” the bench remarked, indicating more such serious action on similar issues are on the anvil.

The bench posted the matter to August 5 when the woman tahsildar should appear. The quantum of punishment will be decided on that day, the bench added.

Originally, one M Murugan had approached the high court with a PIL petition for a direction to the Tiruvannamalai district administration, more particularly the Tahsildar, to remove the encroachments on the common pathway in Kadaladi. His prayer was for a direction to the authorities concerned to consider his representation dated November 29, 2017.

By an order passed in December, 2017, the then division bench of the HC directed the Tahsildar to dispose of petitioner’s representation on merits and in accordance with law and inform the decision taken to the petitioner as also to the other authorities in the district.

As this order was not complied with, Murugan preferred the present contempt application in 2018. The bench, after giving a long rope to the Tahsildar to comply with the 2017 order, finally got agitated when it was informed today that the orders were yet to be implemented. The bench said the failure on the part of the authorities concerned can no more be condoned. There are umpteen number of similar contempt applications pending with the High Court. In this case, the Tahsildar deserves to be imprisoned for contempt of court, the bench said and added that it is only the beginning. It directed the Tahsildar to appear before it on August 5, when the quantum of punishment would be announced.