HC cracks down on illegal buildings in Hyderabad

HYDERABAD: In an interesting exercise, Justice C V Nagarjuna Reddy of the Hyderabad High Court has called for the records from the Hyderabad city civil court to verify the status of cases filed by alleged owners or builders of illegal constructions against demolitions in the city.

The statistics furnished by the civil court revealed that currently 1520 cases against demolitions are pending. To his astonishment Justice Nagarjuna Reddy found that in all the cases, the civil courts have tied the hands of the GHMC officials from proceeding against the alleged illegal structures with their restraint orders. In these 1520 cases alone, the civil courts have ordered status quo in 1431 cases and passed injunction orders in the remaining 89 cases practically giving relief to all those who approached the civil courts.

The judge made this exercise while dealing with a petition filed by Jaan Mohammed of Hyderabad who complained about his neighbour’s illegal structure which is affecting his rights. The judge in his order said that the fact that illegal constructions are reaching monstrous proportions year after year and mere threat of demolitions cannot effectively curb this social evil unless serious threat of enforcement of penal provision looms large on the violators.

“This court therefore does not see any reason why the corporation shall not take advantage of the provisions of section 461(4) of the act and ensure registration of the criminal cases and arrest of the violators in cases of unauthorized constructions, i.e. constructions without permission and illegal constructions, i.e. constructions made in deviation of plans, except in cases of minor deviations,” he said.

The judge also responded positively to the request of the corporation for the constitution of a town planning tribunal and said it is a justified request. As observed by this court in its earlier order, the parties who receive notices from the corporation approach the civil courts and secure orders of injunction and complete the constructions in the guise of such injunction orders. All this has been happening to a set pattern, the judge said.

“This court does not propose to comment on the manner in which the civil courts are exercising jurisdiction in the interests of propriety. However, this court cannot refrain from expressing its thorough dissatisfaction at the manner in which the process of law is being abused by the unscrupulous violators of building laws and destroying the concept of planned development by taking the aid of the orders of the courts,” the judge added.

In its order, the judge said that constitution of a town planning tribunal, excluding the civil courts’ jurisdiction, is an imminent necessity so that the proposed forum, which must comprise one expert from the town planning eld, must function with all the responsibility as needed to promote the concept of planned development and prevent proliferation of illegal and unauthorized constructions in municipal areas in the state. Justice Reddy directed the state of Telangana to constitute a tribunal expeditiously.

Credits ET Realty

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