Notice ordered on plea to preserve Gokhale Hall

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Chennai, Sep 7, (UNI) The Madras High Court on September six ordered notice of admission to the Municipal Administration Department, CMDA, Chennai Corporation, and the Young Men's Indian Association (YMIA), on a public interest litigation(PIL) petition seeking a direction for taking steps to protect and preserve Gokhale Hall on Armenian Street, George Town here, as a heritage building.

In his petition, E Jayakumar of Old Washermanpet said he was a member of the YMIA, which owned the Besant Memorial Building (Gokhale Hall).

The hall had a unique place in history.

It was a meeting place for the public and leaders of various movements had addressed gatherings from the days of the freedom struggle.

It was a building of great significance not only for the present generation but also for future generations.

Its architecture and its huge dome were unique. The Government had a duty to protect such historic, cultural or architecturally important buildings from demolition and ensure their preservation.

The petitioner's interim prayer was an ad-interim injunction restraining YMIA from demolishing the building.

A Division Bench, comprising Justices P K Misra and K Kannan, posted the matter for September nine.

Earlier the High Court disposed a similar writ petition with a direction to file a civil suit.

UNI XR RSA VC1228

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