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Supreme Court upholds demolition of mosque

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Chennai/New Delhi.

The Supreme Court recently upheld a Madras High Court order which directed the demolition of a mosque and madrasa located in Koyambedu, Chennai after concluding that the structure was “totally illegally constructed”.

A Bench of Justices Surya Kant and KV Viswanathan was hearing an appeal against a Madras High Court order of November 22, 2023 in which it was held that the mosque was illegally constructed without any building sanction plan.

In her verdict, Justice J Nisha Banu of the Madras High Court had recorded her disapproval of the apathy exhibited by the officials in the matter.

“This Court has time and again been warning the official respondents to ensure that no constructions are carried on without proper planning permission. In spite of repeated orders of this Court, the official respondents seem to turn a nelson’s eye to unauthorised constructions,” the High Court order had noted.

It had thus directed its demolition and relocation of the mosque to a new area.

This led to the appeal before the top court.

The apex court noted that the Hidayah Muslim Welfare trust (petitioner) was not the owner of the subject property. It further noted –

“The petitioner is admittedly not the owner of the subject property;

The subject land, vests in Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (for short ‘CMDA’), free from all encumbrances;

The petitioner is an unauthorized occupant.

The petitioner never applied to sanction building plans;

The construction was raised in a totally illegal manner;

The illegal construction, remained unabated despite notices being served by the CMDA Authorities on 09th December, 2020.”

On these grounds, the Court saw no reason to interfere with the High Court order calling for the demolition of the mosque.

However, it granted the authorities time till May 31 to remove the structures.

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