High court fines petitioner who encroached land

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High court fines petitioner who encroached land

Madurai: Madras high court has imposed a fine of Rs 3,500 on a man for filing a petition seeking removal of encroachment, which he himself had done on a portion of land in a village in Sivaganga district.
The petitioner, M Malaisamy, who is the president of the Cleanliness Workers Welfare Association, sought the Sivaganga municipality officials to allot free house pattas for the cleanliness workers. Based on the demands, a GO was passed in 1992 to acquire land at Paiyoor Pillai Vaiyal village in the district.
Since, land was allotted to several ineligible people, the petitioner filed a petition before Madurai bench of the HC in 2015 seeking to allot pattas for eligible people. The court disposed of the petition directing the authorities to consider the representation submitted by the petitioner. Subsequently, 64 people were identified. However, the encroachments by the illegal occupants have not been removed.
Hence, the petitioner filed a public interest litigation seeking the removal of encroachment on the land.
During the course of hearing, special government pleader V R Shanmuganathan submitted that in the light of the irregularities, the originally granted pattas were cancelled and 64 eligible people, which include the petitioner, were identified and land was allotted to them.
He submitted that steps are being taken by the authorities to remove the encroachments. He further submitted that the petitioner himself is guilty of encroachment and he has failed to approach this court with clean hands.
Taking cognizance of the submissions, a division bench of Justice M Sathyanarayanan and Justice P Rajamanickam observed that once a person approaches this court alleging encroachment of a public land, he is expected to state truth that he did not cause encroachment on the land belonging to the government or local body. The judges observed that though the petitioner was shown benevolence in the form of allotment of land, he became greedy and encroached on other lands.
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