Court moved against proposed church demolition

The parish was in possession and enjoyment of the site for 80 years and had been given electricity connection.

Madurai: 

Madurai district administration has ordered demolition of a church allegedly instigated by Hindu Makkal Katchi (HMK), the church's parish told Madras High Court in a petition.
Father A.Joseph in his petition before the High Court's bench in Madurai sought to quash the order against St.Mary's Church in Andipatti Kanavai. 
According to him the parish was in possession and enjoyment of the site for 80 years and had been given electricity connection.
The issue relating to the grant of patta in favour of the parish was pending for a long time. But the Madurai district administration had issued the demolition order for removing the structure and has also sought police protection, he claimed.The tehsildhar did not provide any notice before issuing the demolition order. 
Though a representation of the HMK was quoted as a reason for the demoltion, a copy of it had not been provided to the parish, he said.
The petitioner said he had also submitted a fresh application for patta. The concerned Village Administrative Officer had inspected the area and entered in the Revenue records in 1988 that possession of the areas by the parish was "non objectionable", he contended.
Justice B.Rajendran, before whom the petition came up, directed the Parish priest to explain to the official's notice as to why they could not remove the structures within 15 days and the said the officials could act according to law after the receipt of the explanation.
Similarly, the tehsildhar also should reply to the parish priest's application demanding patta for the land within 15 days as per law.

Source: Business Standard

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