HC stays memo on exemption of building completion certificates for power connection

The Madras High Court on Thursday stayed the operation of a memorandum issued by the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) on October 6 exempting all those seeking new service connections from producing building completion certificates issued by the civic authorities concerned.

Justices V. Parthiban and G.R. Swaminathan granted the interim stay on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition filed by the Coimbatore Consumer Cause, a private society, through its counsel S. Sathia Chandran. The petitioner society claimed that the exemption was against a judicial order passed on January 9, 2018.

Filing a detailed affidavit on behalf of the society, its secretary, K. Kathirmathiyon, said provision of facilities such as electricity, drinking water and sewage connections to illegal and unauthorised constructions demoralise those who follow the laws and construct their buildings strictly in accordance with the rules.

Hence, a Division Bench of Justices M. Venugopal (since retired) and S. Vaidyanathan had in January 2018 disapproved of the practice of constructing buildings in violation of the approved plans. It also deprecated the practice of constructions made without a setback area and criticised the officials for turning a blind eye to such violations.

In the interest of the public at large, the judges had directed the officials concerned to issue building completion certificates only after ensuring that the structures had been built as per the approved plan and ordered that water, electricity and sewage connections should be provided to the buildings only on the submission of such certificates.

The court order was followed scrupulously since then.

Recently, the Director (Distribution) of Tangedco had issued the memorandum exempting the submission of such certificates and hence the present petition was filed.


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