Supreme Court upheld the demolition of Chennai mosque stating that it was constructed in an illegal manner

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In a recent order, the Supreme Court (SC) of India upheld the Madras High Court’s order directing the demolition of a ‘Chennai mosque and madrassa’ after noting that the construction of the mosque was done in a totally illegal manner. The SC was hearing an appeal filed by Hydha Muslim Welfare Masjid-E-Hidaya and Madrassa against the November 22, 2023 order of the Madras HC for the demolition of the mosque. The matter was heard by a two-judge bench comprising Justice KV Vishwanathan and Justice Surya Kant. While upholding the order of the HC, the bench observed, 

  • “The petitioner is admittedly not the owner of the subject property;
  • The subject land, vests in Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA), free from all encumbrances;
  • The petitioner is an unauthorized occupant;
  • The petitioner never applied to sanction building plans;
  • The construction was raised in a totally illegal manner;
  • The illegal construction remained unabated despite notices being served by the CMDA Authorities on December 09, 2020.”

The SC bench further opined that “we are satisfied that the directions issued by the High Court warrant no interference by this Court in exercise of powers under Article 136 of the Constitution of India.” Further, the SC dismissed the special leave petition and gave time to the petitioner till May 31, 2024, to remove the structures.