At, Before the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE K.K. SASIDHARAN & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE P.D. AUDIKESAVALU
For the Petitioner: Mubharak Ahamed for M/s. Ahmad Asociates Advocates. For the Respondents: R1, R2 & R4, N. Shanmugaselvan, Addl. Govt. Pleader, R3, P. Audimoola Pandian, Advocate.
(Prayer: Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for the issuance of writ of Certiorari, calling for the records of the impugned proceedings in File No.1845/2018 Na.Oo.Thi.Ku dated 30.11.2018 issued by the 4th respondent and quash the same.)
K.K. Sasidharan, J.
1. The constitution of the Local Planning Authority at Nagerkoil is under challenge at the instance of a Builder, who was instrumental in putting up an unauthorised building without any planning permission.
2. The petitioner constructed a commercial building in R.S.No.P2/22-1, P2/22-3, K.P.Road, Nagercoil without obtaining proper planning permission. The Local Planning Authority initiated action for enforcement. The notice issued by the Local Planning Authority was challenged in W.P.(MD) No.91 of 2019. The notice was withdrawn and consequently, the writ petition was disposed of. Thereafter, the petitioner challenged the constitution of the Local Planning Authority in this writ petition.
3. We have heard the learned counsel for the petitioner. We have also heard the learned Additional Government Pleader for the State and the learned Standing Counsel for the Nagercoil Muncipality.
4. The petitioner has taken up a contention that in view of the language used in Section 91-A of the Tamil Nadu Town and Country Planning Act, 1971 (hereinafter referred to as the "Act"), the delegatee must be an Officer of the said department. According to the learned counsel, the power cannot be delegated to a person outside the Town and Country Planning Department and as such, the constitution of the Local Planning Authority at Nagercoil has no legal sanction.
5. Section 91-A of the Act provides for delegation of powers by the Government or the Director. The delegatee is empowered to exercise the power conferred on the Government or the Director except the power of the Government to make Rules and the power of the Director to hear any appeal preferred under Section 76 of the Act.
6. Section 91-A provides for Delegation of powers by appropriate planning authority. The provision reads thus:-
"91-A. Delegation of powers by appropriate planning authority.-
(1) The appropriate planning authority may, subject to such conditions as may be prescribed, authorise by order, any committee or officer specified in such order to exercise any of the powers vested in such appropriate planning authority by this Act and may cancel such order.
(2) The exercise of any power delegated under sub-section (1) shall be subject to such restrictions and conditions as may be specified in the order and also to control and revision by the appropriate planning authority."
7. Section 91-A of the Act very clearly provides for delegation of powers by the appropriate planning authority to any committee or officer specified in such order. There is absolutely no indication in the provision to the effect that the officer should be a member of the Planning Authority or the Committee should be a Committee functioning under the Planning Authority. The delegation is wide enough to cover even a Committee or an officer outside the composition of the appropriate planning authority.
8. The constitution of the local planning authority at Nagercoil was made in accordance with Section 91-A of the Act. The Local Planning Authority being the delegatee is the appropriate planning authority empowered to discharge all the functions provided under the provisions of the Act. We therefore do not find any
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merit in the contentions taken by the learned counsel for the petitioner. 9. We make it clear that the 4th respondent is empowered to take enforcement action against the illegal construction within its jurisdiction in accordance with the provisions of the Act. 10. In the upshot, we dismiss the writ petition. No costs. Consequently, connected miscellaneous petition is closed.