The Madras High Court on Thursday, October 7, directed the Tamil Nadu government to identify and remove all statues and unauthorised structures of political leaders and prominent personalities erected on public places within three months and establish 'leaders park' to relocate them.
Disposing of a writ petition challenging the orders to remove a statue of BR Ambedkar installed on Meikkal poramboke land in Ranipet district, Justice SM Subramaniam said no permission shall be granted to erect statues in public places, The Indian Express reported.
The judge observed that to remove the encroachments in public places and evict illegal structures, the state government is authorised to take eviction proceedings by following the procedures under the Tamil Nadu Highways Act, 2001, Tamil Nadu Land Encroachment Act, 1905 and Tamil Nadu Protection of Tanks and Eviction of Encroachment Act, 2007, besides invoking all relevant Act and Rules as the case may be.
State Home Secretary To Follow Procedures
The court directed the State Home Secretary to follow the procedures as contemplated under the relevant acts and rules in force and ensure to remove all structures in public roads, highways, government lands, and other places within three months.
Those affecting or infringing the rights of the common people shall not be granted any permission, the court directed.
The officials are directed to identify lands for the creation of required numbers of "Leaders Park" across Tamil Nadu for installing new statues and for re-location/replacement of existing ones, for which permission had already been given, the court said.
The order stated that the entire procedure must be completed within six months, and the maintenance cost shall be recovered from those who had erected these statues and structures. In case of non-payment of the maintenance cost, the concerned authorities can invoke the Revenue Recovery Act for recovering the same.