Madras High Court has held that it was not open to the authorities concerned to evict those cobblers for whom bunks had been constructed and allocated and licences issued by the Chennai Corporation and imposed a cost of Rs 50,000 on the civic body.
Passing orders on appeals preferred by Tamil Nadu Arunthadihiar Kalani Pani Thozhilalar challenging an order of a single Judge, a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice HL Gokhale and Justice Raja Elango directed that the sum be deposited with the state legal services authority.
Two petitions were filed, one in 1995 and 2000, seeking a direction to the authorities not to evict the association members from the places occupied by them for earning their livelihood, without following the due process of law. The single Judge in 2000 had told corporation to issue notices to the cobblers to vacate and if they did not do, the corporation was at liberty to evict them and take possession of the land.
Pointing out that the scheme for rehabilitation of cobblers, particularly those belonging to the scheduled castes, was a central one and funds were allotted to the state pursuant to a government order in 1989, the Bench noted that the khadi board had constructed bunks, allotted them to cobblers and licences were issued by the corporation.
In such a case it was neither open to the respondent to evict the cobblers from the bunks nor remove the bunks or refuse to renew their licences.