Plea of traders association dismissed

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Madurai, Feb 6 (PTI): The Madras High Court Bench here hasdismissed a writ petition by Kodaikanal Varthahargal Sangam(traders''association), challenging a resolution of Kodaikanalmunicipality last year to demolish a shopping complex aftervacating its members and construct a new building at the spot.

Refusing to interfere with the January 25 2010 resolution,Justice K Chandru in his order said the court cannot forestallthe municipality''s view to demolish and reconstruct thedilapidated building in the interest of the general public andtourists, only because association wants to continue in thesaid premises.

He pointed out that the association has already moved thecivil court claiming they should not be evicted except throughdue process of law. The court cannot go behind the wisdom ofthe resolution, that too in a petition filed in privateinterest. Since the municipality had stated it is going tobuild a new complex, it cannot be said that any publicinterest will suffer,"he added.

The petitioner association claimed nearly 50 familiesbelonging to traders would be affected if the municipality wasallowed to go ahead with its plan of demolising the presentshopping complex. It also contended that the municipality hadpassed the resolution in vilation of Articiles 14 (Right toEquality) and 19 (1(g)(Right to carry on any trade) of theConstitution.

The Municipality,in its counter, said the complex housingvegetable shops and provision stores built over 100 years agowith lime, clay and mortar, was in a dilapidated state posinga threat to the life of locals and tourists visiting the hillstation. Hence, it was decided to demolish it and construct amodern shopping complex.

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