Former dt Collector rapped on water connection to individual

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Chennai, Jun 29 (PTI) The Madras High Court has rapped a former district Collector of Karur for providing water connection to a private individual for her rosewood farm.

'To say the least, the district Collector has catered to the luxury of the fourth respondent when the villagers are reeling under water shortage,' a division bench of Justices T S Sivagnanam and Justice S Ananthi said recently.

The bench also wondered at the way in which the IAS official filed the counter affidavit/status report and the manner in which she had defended the litigation.

Very often, the government counsels will take repeated adjournments before the courts for purpose of filing counter- affidavit. In this case, the official had taken much attention and she had promptly filed the status report.

'Thus, we are of the clear view that the impugned order is arbitrary, unreasonable, a clear abuse and misuse of power vested with the authority, totally devoid of jurisdiction and liable to be set aside,' the bench said.

The bench was allowing a PIL petition from the Village Drinking Water and Health Society, by its treasurer P Mani, of Coodalore East Panchayat in Karur district seeking to quash as illegal, arbitrary and without jurisdiction, an order dated November 18, 2020 of the then Collector providing water connection to the individual.

Rejecting the argument of the Collector, the judges said that the rosewood tree farm developed by Shanthi by planting 11,000 trees would not fall within the ambit of agricultural purpose.PTI CORR SA SS PTI PTI

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