Go on buildings of educational institutes stayed

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has stayed the operation of a GO, dated June 14 last, of the Housing and Urban Development department secretary, directing that all buildings of educational institutions constructed prior to January 1, 2011 in a non-plan area must apply for concurrence to the Directorate of Town and Country Planning (DTCP).

Justice S S Sundar granted the injunction while passing interim orders on a petition from the All India Private Educational Institutions Association, by its State general secretary K Palaniyappan of Saligramam, on Friday.

The main prayer of the petitioner is to declare the June 14 GO and the consequential order dated June 25 of the School Education secretary as illegal and unconstitutional and inconsistent with the legislative domain conferred under Articles 243 (g), 243 (w), 243ZD read with Article 40 of the Constitution.

According to petitioner, most of the educational institutions, which were functioning in non-plan area, had applied to the local body for planning permission and got them approved. The government, however, at a later stage started issuing lock & seal notices to all member institutions of the petitioner association, by  invoking sections 56 and 57 of the TN Town and Country Planning Act.

All the consequential actions of  government were challenged before the HC and on various occasions, the court had settled the legal proposition that a planning permission issued by a competent authority cannot be said to be invalid, unless otherwise it is cancelled or revised in a manner known to law.

Following this, the proceedings invoked under the TN Town and Country Planning Act were set aside in all the cases.

While so, the government now in an indirect manner has issued the impugned June 14 GO stating that the buildings of the educational institutions constructed prior to January 1, 2011 in non- plan areas must apply for concurrence to the Directorate of Town and Country Planning.

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