The Chennai District Collectorate on Monday evening regained possession of a prime land measuring 6.35 acres of land in the heart of the city on Cathedral Road, just a few feet away from the U.S. Consulate here. The land estimated to be valued at ₹1,000 crore was until recently under the possession of the Agri Horticultural Society.
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Earlier, the Commissioner of Land Administration (CLA) issued the orders. Based on the proceedings by the CLA, the land measuring four cawnies, 18 grounds and 1,683 square feet, was taken over by the Chennai District Collectorate on Monday evening. The premises has been sealed by the authorities.
A Bench of the Madras High Court in March this year rejected a writ appeal filed by the Agri Horticultural Society against the dismissal of its writ petition challenging a suo motu review of patta granted to it by a Collector (in-charge) in 2011 for a sprawling property next to Semmozhi Poonga on Cathedral Road in Chennai.
A single judge of the Madras High Court had, in November last year, dismissed a writ petition filed by the Agri Horticultural Society. Official sources told The Hindu that the Revenue Department is expected to hand over the land to the Agriculture Department, which maintains the Semmozhi Poonga located just in front of the land.
Several properties, including the one on Cathedral Road, were taken on lease by the society in the late 1800s and early 1900s but the government had in 1989 attempted to reclaim them, the single judge had pointed out in his judgment.
In 1989, the government attempted to take back those lands but the society moved the courts. However, in 2019, the Supreme Court confirmed the resumption of the lands by the government. But in 2011, the society managed to obtain a patta for the land from an in-charge Collector following which the CLA had initiated a suo motu review.