Writ Petition Filed in Madras HC Over Temple’s Encroachment of Water Body

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A Writ Petition styled as a Public Interest Litigation was filed by the Petitioner Arunkumar against the District Collector of Madurai under Article 226. It seeks to remove the encroachment made by the respondent in Kalungu area (outlet) of Illangiyendal Village, Madurai District based on the petitioner’s representation dated 26.05.2020. The case was heard by the Division Bench Judges of M. Sathyanarayanan and P. Rajmanickam.

Facts of the Case

The Illangiyendal Tank/Water Body is situated in S.F. No. 31, Illangiyendal Village and it is the main irrigation source of agriculture as well as for the nearby residents and it is being maintained by the third respondent – The Executive Officer. The petitioner further contended that the water body as well as its waterways are under encroachment and in this regard, representation dated 26.05.2020 was made to the concerned officials of the respondents. Despite the receipt and acknowledgement of the same, no action whatsoever is taken and therefore, the petitioner feels constrained to approach this Court with the Writ Petition. 

Arguments before the Court

The learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that in a portion of the water body in S.F. No.31, there exists a Vazhavanthan Amman Temple. Taxes are being collected to renovate the said temple. In the light of the encroachment made in the waterways, the official respondents are under the statutory obligations to take appropriate action to remove the same and prays for appropriate directions.

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The learned special government pleader appearing for the respondents submitted  that the Tahsildar has caused an inspection. The land admeasuring the extent of area in S.F. No. 31 of Illangiyendal Village, Madurai east taluk, Madurai district, Vazhavanthan Amman Temple is in existence. Since the temple is upon a water body, Form – I notice was issued as per Rule 2(1) (e) of Tamil Nadu Protection of Tanks and Eviction of Encroachment Rules, 2007. Since, appropriate action has been taken, the petitioner presently may not have any grievance and prays for dismissal of the Writ Petition. 

Court’s Orders

The Court finds that no further orders are necessary in this Writ Petition. However, the third respondent i.e., The Executive Officer  is directed to take further action in accordance with law by adhering the principles of natural justice. He is to remove the encroachment as expeditiously as possible. The directions must be complied with within 10 weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of the order. The decision should be communicated to the petitioner as well as the temple authorities.The Writ Petition stands disposed accordingly. 


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