(Prayer: This Writ Petition is filed under Article 226 of Constitution of India, to issued Writ of Mandamus directing the 2nd respondent to consider the representation of the petitioner dated 29.10.2018 to consider the transfer of Schedule “D-9” property hereunder by way of sale to the petitioner pursuant to Section 72 of the Tamil Nadu Housing Board Act, 1961, being a person with prior right to purchase in the facts and circumstances stated, at a sale consideration as on 14.02.1995 in order to ratify the title transferred by the Housing Board as an ostensible owner on 14.02.1995 through re-conveyance to Mr.Ramaiah.)
1. These writ petitions are offshoot of the Civil Suit in O.S.Nos.315, 316, 317 of 1996 on the file of Sub Court, Krishnagiri, which reached its finality at the hands of this Court in S.A.Nos.549, 1004, 1005 of 2006, vide judgment dated 17.02.2017.
2. Therefore, before adverting to the plea in these writ petitions, the gist of the Civil Suits and the findings of this Court as discussed in the Second Appeal is extracted below for appropriate appreciation and understanding of this batch of writ petitions.
“7. One Mr.Kandasamy was holding about 8 acres of land in S.Nos.184, 185, 186A and 186C in Hosur Village, Hosur Taluk, Krishnagiri District. After his demise, his son Venkatesamurthy was in possession of the property. While so, the Tamil Nadu Housing Board sought to acquire the suit land and published Section 4(1) notification of the Tamil Nadu Land Acquisition Act, 1894, on 13.06.1980.
8. The writ petition in W.P.No.1753 of 1983 filed by the land owner Venkatesamurthy challenging the acquisition was dismissed on 08.01.1991. The land acquisition award was passed on 30.10.1992 and the land owner has received the award amount from the Sub Court, Krishnagiri. While so, on 18.03.1991, the land owner Venkatesamurthy has executed a power of attorney in favour of one Ramaiah, who is the fifth defendant in all the suits. Ramaiah based on the said power of attorney, has sold the property to one Narayanasamy on 29.08.1991. On the very next day i.e. 30.08.1991 it appears that the land owner Venkatesamurthy has cancelled the power of attorney executed by him in favour of Ramaiah (5th defendant). After purchase, the fourth defendant Narayanasamy has executed a registered general power of attorney in favour of one Natesan and the third defendant, on the strength of the power of attorney document, has sold 24 plots, which are part and parcel of the suit property to one Annapooranai and Abinaya Muthusamy, defendants 2 and 1 respectively.
9. Though the power of attorney executed in favour of Ramaiah was cancelled by the land owner Venkatesamurthy on 30.08.1991, the fifth defendant Ramaiah has moved the Government for cancellation of acquisition and pursuant to the steps initiated by him, the Government of TamilNadu has instructed the Managing Director of the Tamil Nadu Housing Board to re-convey the land to the fifth defendant Ramaiah on 17.05.1993. Based on this communication, the Tamil Nadu Housing Board has executed a re-conveyance deed in favour of Ramaiah on 14.02.1995. On the very same day the said Ramaiah has sold the suit property in three parts. Firstly, 2.59 acres in S.No.184 was executed in favour of one Chellamuthu, who is the plaintiff in O.S.No.315 of 1996 and the appellant in S.A.No.549 of 2006. Secondly, 2.97 acres in S.No.185 was executed in favour of one Muthusamy, who is the plaintiff in O.S.No.316 of 1996 and the appellant in S.A.No.1004 of 2006 and thirdly, 3 acres in S.No.186A and in 0.04 cents in S.No.186/1C respectively were sold to one Rajendran, who is the plaintiff in O.S.No.317 of 1996 and the appellant in S.A.No.1005 of 2006.
10.The Identical averment of the plaintiffs/appellants is that having purchase of the suit property from the Ramaiah, they are the absolute owner of the property, whereas defendants 1 and 2 are tracing their title over the suit property, based on the sham and nominal sale deed executed by the Ramaiah in favour of the M.Narayanasami on 29.08.1991.
11. The trial Court has dismissed all the three suits on the ground that Ex.B4-Sale deed executed by Ramaiah, as power agent of Venkatesamurthy in favour of Narayanasamy and duly registered on 29.08.1991 is valid. Even though that transaction was effected during the pendency of the land acquisition proceedings, by virtue of withdrawal of the land acquisition proceedings by adopting the principle of “Feeding the grant by Estoppal”, defendants 1 and 2 had perfected title and no right flows to the plaintiffs by virtue of Ex.A12, A14 and A15.
12. On appeal, the first appellate Court has confirmed the trial Court judgment reiterating the findings of the trial Court and in addition, pointed out that the alleged re-conveyance of the acquired land itself is not in consonance with Section 48 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 and Sections 16 and 17(1) of the the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 and has cited the judgment of State Of Kerala & Ors vs M. Bhaskaran Pillai & Anr [AIR 1997 SC 2703], the Hon'ble Supreme Court, which has held that once the acquisition proceeding is completed, the Government becomes the absolute owner of the property. No question of reconveyance to the erstwhile owner permissible. However, the Government shall be at liberty to withdraw the acquisition of any land of which possession has not been taken. Therefore, withdrawal of acquisition can be done by the Government, when only the possession is not taken, but after taking possession, if any excess land remains unutilised, the rest of the land could be used for any other public purpose. In case, there is no other public purpose for which the land is needed, then the land should be put to public auction and the Government cannot assign the land to the erstwhile owners. The recital of Ex.A3-reconveyance deed, reads as re-conveyance of the acquired property by the Tamil Nadu Housing Board in favour of Ramaiah. The lower appellate Court has found that though the land owner is Venkatesamurthy, the property has been conveyed in favour of Ramaiah, who is alleged to be the power agent of Venkatesamurthy. From assessing the exhibits, the lower appellate Court has held that by the very conduct of the Tamil Nadu Housing Board and the reconveyance deed indicates that the acquisition proceedings was not completed. However, instead of returning the property in favour of the original land owner after withdrawal of acquisition. They have reconveyed the property in favour of Ramaiah, who claimed himself as power agent. In fact, the power executed in his favour was cancelled on 30.08.1991 itself. Therefore, the lower appellate Court held that the purchase of part of the suit property by the defendants 1 and 2 from the power of attorney of lawful title holder namely, M.Narayanasami is valid and the title deeds relied by the plaintiffs are not valid. In the above said background, the aggrieved plaintiffs are before this Court by way of Second Appeals.
13. It is very important to point out that the erstwhile owner of the property Venkatesamurthy was not made a party-defendant in the suit but he was examined as P.W.5. The power of attorney Ramaiah, who is the 5 th defendant in the suit sails along with the plaintiffs though he has executed the sale deed on 29.08.1991 in favour of Narayanasamy the fourth defendant, pending acquisition proceeding and he has again executed sale deeds Exs.A7 to A14 and A15 in favour of the appellants herein on 14.02.1995 after the so called reconveyence deed Ex.A3.
14. Before going into the nature of Ex.A3-deed executed by the Tamil Nadu Housing Board, it is necessary to first ascertain whether Ramaiah has any alienable right over the suit property on 14.02.1995. When the power of attorney document executed in his favour by the landlord Venkatesamurthy was cancelled as early as 30.08.1991, vide Ex.B1, there is no other document to show that on the date of executing Ex.A7, A14 and A15, the said Ramaiah was the owner of the property (or) the power agent of the original owner.
15. From reading of Ex.A2, it is very clear that the Government in Housing and Urban Development Department has taken a policy decision to re-convey 8.60 acres of land in S.Nos.184, 185, 186A and 186C in Hosur Village, Dharmapuri District, subject to the collection of development charges. This decision has been taken by the Government, based on the representation of the Ramaiah requesting the Government to exclude the said land from acquisition. Based on this decision reflected in Ex.A2, the deed of re-conveyance has been effected through Ex.A3. This Court holds that this deed is a fraudulent document purported to have been executed by some officer of Tamil Nadu Housing Board, without any application of mind, but for some extraneous consideration.
16. Under Ex.A2 it is clear that Ramaiah has given a petition for exclusion of the land from the acquisition proceedings. Whereas, the Government has decided to reconvey the property to him and pursuant to that, the Executive Engineer of Hosur Housing Board attached to Tamil Nadu Housing Board has executed a deed under the caption “reconveyance” in favour of Ramaiah describing himself as Ex-owner of the property. This Court fails to understand how the said Ramaiah can become the land owner of the subject property, when he himself claims to be only the power agent of the original land owner Venkatesamurthy and admittedly even that power of attorney document being cancelled by Venkatesamurthy as early as 30.08.1991 vide Ex.B1. The manifestation of the above fraud is the execution of Exs.A7,A14 and A15, which are the sale deeds in favour of the appellants herein executed by Ramaiah on the very same day i.e. on 14.02.1995.
17. On thorough scrutiny of Ex.A4 power of attorney executed in favour of Ramaiah, Ex.A5-cancellation of the above power of attorney, after executing the sale deed Ex.B4 by Ramaiah in favour of Narayanasamy the fourth defendant and in the light of Ex.A3, the so called reconveyance deed in favour of Ramaiah describing him as Exowner, though he was neither owner of the suit property nor the power agent of the erstwhile owner, put together, clearly show that the appellants have no locus to sustain their suits. The Courts below have rightly dismissed the suits.”
3. This Court relying upon the judgment of Hon'ble Supreme Court rendered in State of Kerala and Ors. Vs. M.Bhaskaran Pillai and Ors reported in AIR 1997 SC 2703, has held that, the land acquired for a public purpose after achieving the public purpose, the land left unused has to be used for other public purpose or to be put to public auction. The Government cannot assign the land to the erstwhile owners. The plaintiffs who lost the case in all the three Courts, filed the Review Petition for clarification and this Court, on 25.07.2018 passed the following order:
“3. It is contended by the learned counsel for the appellants, who are the review petitioners herein that, subsequent to the judgment of this Court, some of the parties/respondents are alienating the suit property which actually by virtue of this Court order vest with the State.
4. It is needless to look into events, which had happened pendent lite or subsequent to the passing of the decree. It is suffice to make it clear that by virtue of the decree passed by the Trial court and the same being confirmed in Second Appeal by this Court, the Status Quo Ante as on day prior to passing of re conveyance order, which is marked as Ex.A3 dated 14.02.1995 is restored. With these observation, the Review Petition is disposed of.”
4. After disposal of the Second Appeal and the Review Petition, the present batch of writ petitions are filed by the purchasers of the land, who traced their title through said Ramaiah, who alleged to have sold 8.60 acres of land to Mr.Chellamuthu, Mr.Muthusamy and Mr.A.V.Rajendiran, who are none other than the plaintiffs in the suit which was dismissed by the trial Court, 1st Appellate Court and 2nd Appellate Court.
5. The contention of these petitioners is that, the plots in Venkateshwara Nagar promoted by Mr.Muthusamy and others were sold to various persons who are bonafide purchasers for value based on the reconvenience deed executed by the Housing Board and the general power of attorney executed by Ramaiah, to whom the Housing Board reconveyed the property. Some of the petitioners herein are 2nd or 3rd purchasers. It is contended that 8.60 acres of land which was originally subject matter of Land Acquisition after the reconveyance by the Housing Board vest with Ramaiah, as per the document dated 14.02.1995 registered at SRO, Hosur. Thereafter, Ramaiah had executed 1/3rd property in favour of A.V.Rajendran, 1/3rd in favour of Chellamuthu and 1/3rd property in favour of Muthusamy on the very same day of reconveyance i.e., 14.02.1995. Thereafter, Mr.A.V.Rajendran had executed general power of attorney in favour of Muthusamy vide Document No.350 of 2015 and Chellamuthu executed General Power of Attorney in favour of Muthusamy vide Document No.351 of 1995 on 05.06.1995. On the strength of the sale deed in respect of 1/3rd property and the general power of attorney deeds in his favour for the remaining 2/3rd of the property Muthusamy has obtained layout permission from the Directorate of Town and Country Planning for formation of “Venkateshwara Nagar Lay Out” with 108 plots vide approval No.L.P/DTCP-1510/95, dated 06.11.1995.
6. These writ petitioners, who are the purchasers of the plots in the said Venkateshwara Nagar layout, claim that they are not parties to the suit filed by the vendors. They were bonafide purchasers for value based on the documents and they have invested their hard earn money to put up construction and some of them have availed loan from the bank for construction. While so, in view of the judgment and decree passed by this Court in Second Appeal, they understand that the property vest with the Housing Board and therefore, being a bonafide purchaser unknowing of the suit proceedings and appeal filed by their predecessor-in-title namely Muthusamy, they have given representation to the 2nd respondent on 29.10.2018 to consider and transfer the title in their favour in respect of plots, which they have purchased bonafidely. For the said purpose, the petitioners rely upon Section 72 of the Tamil Nadu Housing Board and seek for reconveyance.
7. The core contention of the petitioners herein is that, they trace title through Muthusamy, who promoted the layout and sold it to third parties, pending suit without disclosure of the litigation. They relying upon the reconveyance deed of Housing Board, have purchased the plot and had constructed the house. The purpose of the Housing Board is to provide housing for the needy people. Even assuming the land acquired by them, being now occupied by the petitioners, since the object of the housing board has been achieved, there is no impediment for the housing board to convey title of the land to the petitioners by invoking power under Section 72 of the Tamil Nadu Housing Board Act.
8. The Learned Counsel appearing for the petitioners relying upon the judgment of Kovi Medical Centre Research and Educational Trust and Ors Vs. The State of Tamil Nadu and Ors reported in MANU/TN/2029/2010, would contend that, by reconveying the title in favour of the writ petitioners, who are bonafide purchasers of the land based on the reconveyance deed dated 14.02.1995, which was later declared as void by this Court in batch of Second Appeal, will achieve the purpose of the Housing Board and there is no legal impediment for conveying their title and petitioners are ready to pay reasonable price for the plots, as on date of the acquisition from their owner.
9. The 2nd respondent/Managing Director of Tamil Nadu Housing Board has filed counter, wherein, it is submitted that the representation of the petitioners dated 29.10.2018 to consider the transfer of property by way of sale by invoking power under Section 72 of the Tamil Nadu Housing Board Act, 1961, is not maintainable. It is contended that the present writ petitioners are filed to achieve what their predecessor-in-title could not achieve in the Civil Suit. If the request of the petitioners are acceded, it will defeat the judgment and decree passed in the batch of Second Appeal. If at all the petitioners have any grievance or right, they have to establish their right and title over the property by restoring to a civil forum and ventilate the grievance. Through these writ petitioners, they cannot try to nullify the decree and judgment passed by the Civil Court and confirmed by both the 1st Appellate Court and 2nd Appellate Court.
10. Relying upon the judgment of this Court in R.Shanmugam and Ors Vs. The State of Tamil Nadu rep. by its Secretary, Housing and Urban reported in 2006(4)CTC 290, the Learned Counsel for the 2nd respondent/Tamil Nadu Housing Board would submit that, the Housing Board has no power for disposal of unutilised land unlike the State Government which has power to use unutilised acquired land for some other public purpose. The lands which remain unutilised and are kept vacant cannot be dealt by the Housing Board in exercise power under Section 72 of the Tamil Nadu Housing Board Act. The unutilised acquired land of the Housing Board will vest with the Government free from all encumbrance. It is for the Government to decide regarding the disposal or utilisation of the said unutilised land. The petitioners’ representation was given to the respondent, who has no authority to consider the said representation. Hence, Writ of Mandamus cannot be issued to the person, who lacks authority to act on the command of the Court.
11. Further, in the counter, the 2nd respondent/Tamil Nadu Housing Board has narrated how the proposal of the Housing Board to acquire 47.14 acres of land to form the Hosur Neighbourhood Scheme Phase IX was interfered and manipulated and particularly how 8.60 acres of land which is subject matter of the present writ petitions was excluded from the scheme due to manipulation of certain vested interest persons. Since the said narration of the facts are relevant, it is extracted below:
“8. It is submitted that the Tamil Nadu Housing Board has proposed to acquire the land to an extent of 47.14 acres, to forum Hosur Neighbourhood Scheme Phase IX. Accordingly notification under Section 4(1) under the Land Acquisition Act was notified vide Govt.G.O.Ms.No.780, dated 12.06.1980 and Draft Declaration as approved vide Govt.G.O.Ms.No.392/dated 10.05.1982. The award has been passed vide award No.3/84/dated 17.08.1984.
9. It is submitted that the land owners of S.F.No.184, 185, 186-A and 186-C of Hosur Village, Krishnagiri District, with an extent of 8.60 acre has approached this Hon'ble Court, Madras and obtained stay of dispossession in W.P.No.1754/83 and 1755/83. Thereafter the Writ Petition came to be dismissed on 08.01.1991 and fresh award has been passed vide Award No.2/92, dated 30.10.1992.
10. At the time of Award enquiry, a rival claim over the title of property was raised in respect of an extent of 8.60 acre in the said S.F.No.184, 185, 186-A and 186-c in Hosur Village, Krishnagiri District. The claimants Thiru.Venkatesan and Thiru.Narayanasamy represented that the Civil suit was pending in Krishnagiri Court on O.S.No.3/92 regarding the title. Therefore the Award amount of Rs.93,483/- for the said land was kept in Court deposit under Section 30 of the Act and the lands were taken over and the possession was conferred to the Housing Board on 07.12.1992.
11. It is submitted that in the interregnum the Government, 1st respondent herein, after carefully examining the request in consultation with Tamil Nadu Housing Board, ordered vide proceedings in Govt.Lr.No.58093/L.A.II(2)/92-4/dated 17.05.1993 to reconvey the said portion of the land measuring an extent of 8.60 acre in S.Nos.184, 185, 186/A & 186/C in Hosur Village, Krishnagiri District to Thiru M.Ramaiah.
12. On the basis of this Government Order, this respondent Board instructed the Executive Engineer, Hosur Housing Unit to take follow up action. In the mean time, the Civil suit filed in above said property was withdrawn from the Sub-Court, Krishnagiri on 08.09.1994. Thereafter the Executive Engineer, Hosur Housing Unit reconveyed the said land to Thiru.M.Ramaiah on 14.02.1995 through reconveyance deed dated 14.02.1995 in which both Thiru.R.Venkatesan and Thiru.M.Narayanasamy have signed as witnesses.
13. Accordingly, the 2nd respondent has reconveyed the said lands to Thiru.M.Ramaiah on 14.02.1995. It is submitted that as on 14.02.1995 in pursuance to the proceedings to the proceedings of the 1st respondent in Govt.Lr.No.58093/L.A.II(2)/92-4/dated 17.05.1993, the 2nd respondent has reconveyed the lands measuring an extent of measuring 8.60 acre in S.Nos.184, 185, 186-A and 186- C in Hosur Village, Krishnagiri District to M.Ramaiah on 14.02.1995 and thereupon the possession was handed over to him. As on date the lands measuring an extent of measuring 8.60 acre in S.Nos.184, 185, 186-A and 186-C in Hosur Village, Krishnagiri District, is not in the possession of the Tamil Nadu Housing Board.
14. It is evident from the averments of the affidavit that on the same day (14.02.1995) Thiru.Ramaiah executed sale of above said lands to Thiru.A.V.Rajendiran, Thiru Chellamuthu and Thiru.Muthusamy through Doc Nos.2168 of 1995, 2169 of 1995 and 2170 of 1995 respectively at the Office of the Sub Registrar Office, Hosur in that sale deed both Thiru.M.Narayanasamy and Thiru.R.Venkatesan had witnessed. It appears that Thiru.M.Narayanasamy and Thiru.R.Venkatesan is said to have witnessed the reconveyance deed executed in favour of Thiru M.Ramaiah on 14.02.1995.
15. It is submitted that it is seen from the texts of the affidavit that the said Thiru.M.Narayanasamy has executed General Power of Attorney dated 11.11.1994 to one Thiru.S.Natesan for 24 plots which is covered under above parcel of land. It is further seen from averment of the affidavit that thereafter Tvl.M.Muthusamy, A.V.Rajendiran and P.Chellamuthu took legal recourse on Thiru.Narayanasamy and four others, namely Tvl.1.Abinaya Muthusamy 2. Annapoorani 3.S.Natesan, 4.M.Ramaiah by filing a Civil Suit with respect to his portion of above said land in O.S.No.315, 316 and 317 of 1995 on the file of the Hon'ble Subordinate Judge at Krishnagiri, praying for relief of Declaration of title on 19.09.1995. It is seen that the said suit came to be dismissed by judgment and Decree dated 21.02.2003. As against the dismissal of the said suit on 21.02.2003, Thiru.A.V.Rajendran, Thiru.M.Muthusamy had preferred A.S.No.78, 79 and 80 of 2003 on the file of the Hon'ble Principal District Judge, Krishnagiri and the same was dismissed by Judgment and Decree dated 30.11.2005. Aggrieved by the same, Thiru.M.Muthusamy preferred S.A.No.549, 1004 and 1005 of 2006 before the Hon'ble High Court of Judicature at Madras and the same was also dismissed on 17.02.2017. Thereafter, Thiru.M.Muthusamy preferred a Review Application No.77, 78 and 79 of 2017, before the Hon'ble High Court of Judicature at Madras and the Review Application came to be dismissed by this Hon'ble High Court on 27.07.2018.
16. It is pertinent to mention at this juncture that this Hon'ble High Court, Madras, while dismissing the S.No.549, 1004 and 1005 of 2006 by judgment dated 17.02.2017 has observed as follows:
“It is settled law that if the land is acquired for a public purpose, after the public purpose was achieved, the rest of the land could be used for any other public purpose for which the land is needed, then instead of disposal by way of sale to the erstwhile owner, the land should be put to public action and the amount fetched in the public auction can be better utilized for the public purpose envisaged in the directive principles of the constitution. Therefore, the Government cannot assign the land to the erstwhile owners.”
17. This Respondent respectfully submits that as on date, the judgment dated 17.02.2017 rendered by the Hon'ble High Court in S.A.No.549, 1004 and 1005 of 2006 has attained finality. This Respondent equally submits that even though Tamil Nadu Housing Board has not been arrayed as a party defendant in the judgment dated 17.02.2017 rendered by the Hon'ble High Court in S.A.No.549, 1004 and 1005 of 2006, the said judgment is binding upon this Respondent.
12. Thus, the case of the 2nd respondent is that, the Housing Board which has originally acquired 47.14 acres of land had implemented Neighbourhood Scheme Phase IX, to an extent of 21.52 acres of land. 8.60 acres in S.F.Nos.184, 185, 186-A and 186-C, which is subject matter of the Civil Suit and the present writ petitions. On record, the Tamil Nadu Housing Board had handed over their possession to one Ramaiah as per the reconveyance deed. However, it is held to be contrary to the law by the judgment rendered by trial Court, later, confirmed by the High Court in Second Appeal. The settled law in this regard is Government cannot reconvey the excess land acquired for public purpose to the erstwhile owner. It is also held by the Division Bench of this Court that surplus land acquired by the Housing Board cannot be reconveyed by the Housing Board, but it is for the Government to retain the property or dispose the same in the manner known under law.
13. From the narration of the facts and the litigation history of the subject land, it is clear that 8.60 acres of land originally acquired for the Hosur Neighbourhood Scheme Phase IX got excluded and was wrongly reconveyed to Mr.Ramaiah, who was neither the owner nor the power agent of the owner on the date of reconveyance. For the said reasons, this Court has held that the reconveyance is invalid and property vests with the State.
14. In this context, this Court has relied upon the observation of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in State of Kerala and Ors. Vs. M.Bhaskaran Pillai reported in AIR 1997 Sc 2703, wherein, the Hon'ble Supreme Court has laid down the under Ratio, “if the land is acquired for a public purpose, after the public purpose achieved, the unutilised land could be used for any other purpose or in case, if it is to be disposed then it can be done only by public auction and not by assigning it to the erstwhile owner.
15. In the said circumstances, admittedly, the petitioners are purchasers of the land, pending litigation. Their predecessors-in-title are the plaintiffs in O.S.Nos.315, 316, 317 of 1995 on the file of Subordinate Court, Krishnagiri. They cannot reagitate the settled dispute through writ petitioners under the garb of bonafide purchasers and seek remedy under Article 226 of the Constitution of India relying Section 72 of the Tamil Nadu Housing Board
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Act, which reads as below: Power to dispose of land. “72. (1). The Board may retain or may lease, sell, exchange or otherwise dispose of any land vested in or acquired by its under this Act. (2). Whenever the Board decided to lease or sell any land acquired by it under this Act from any person, it- (a) shall give notice by advertisement in one of the leading local newspapers in the state, and. (b). shall offer to the said person, or his heirs, executors or administrators, a prior right to take on lease or to purchase such land for an amount or at a rate to be fixed by the Board, if the Board considers that such an offer can be made without detriment to the carrying out of the purposes of this Act. (3). If in any case two or more persons, claim to have the prior right referred to in clause (b) of sub-section (2), preference shall be given to the person who agrees to pay the highest amount or rate for the land, not being less than the amount or rate fixed by the Board under that clause.” 16. As pointed by the Division Bench of this Court in R.Shanmugam and Ors. Vs. State of Tamil Nadu, rep. by its Secretary, Housing and Urban Development reported in 2006(4) CTC 290, would contend that, Section 72 of the Housing Board Act cannot be applied in the facts of the present case. 17. After declaring the reconveyance of 8.60 acres of land to Ramaiah vide document dated 14.02.1995, the land acquired by the Housing Board vest with the Housing Board on applying the principle of deeming friction. This land in turn falls under the control of the Government/1st respondent and it is for the 1st respondent to decide whether the land could be retained by evicting the encroacher or to be disposed of in the manner known to law. 18. The representation of the petitioners herein, dated 29.10.2018, to the 2nd respondent/Managing Director, Tamil Nadu Housing Board, to exercise power under Section 72 of the Tamil Nadu Housing Board Act, cannot be entertained since the petitioners have no right for such request nor the 2nd respondent have the legal competence to entertain such representation. Therefore, the Writ Petitioners seeking Mandamus directing the 2nd respondent to consider the representation of the petitioners dated 29.10.2018, by exercising power under Section 72 of the Tamil Nadu Housing Board Act is not sustainable. Hence, they are liable to be dismissed. 19. While dismissing the Writ Petitions, this Court wish to record that as pointed out earlier 8.60 acres of land acquired for the Housing Board presently vest with the Government, but on the factual scenario, it is infested by people like petitioners. It is open for the Government to consider eviction of the encroachment or to rectify the encroachment in the manner known to law, after following due process. 20. As a result, the Writ Petitions are dismissed. No costs. Consequently, connected Miscellaneous Petitions are closed.