‘Withhold Sanction For Fresh Projects Of Builders Who’ve History Of Plan Violations’


The search for a mechanism to rein in builders and developers who churn out buildings in violation of sanctioned plans or raise unauthorised constructions, may end here.  If this suggestion of the Madras high court is implemented, unscrupulous builders and promoters, who flout development control rules, may have to either quit the trade or comply with the regulations. A division bench of Justices Prabha Sridevan and M Sathyanarayanan has said the government could withhold sanction for fresh projects of builders who face charges of unauthorised construction or deviation from sanctioned plan.

“Desperate situations require desperate measures,” the judges said, adding: “If sanction is refused on the ground of previous violation, these unscrupulous and careless buildings will be reined in and (will) toe the line. These irregular constructions will not come up. Only then, the living standards of this city can be maintained.” The judges also hoped that the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) and the government would take necessary action. The Ambattur Municipality, which too was made a party to the proceedings, was represented by special government pleader I Paranthamen.  The matter relates to a PIL filed by R Vanaja, who alleged that a builder had put up a totally unauthorised construction at Golden Colony in Mogappair (West), and that the building enjoyed electricity as well as sewerage connection. With these facilities in place, the builder had transferred the property to a third party, she said. She wanted the building to be razed. Not denying the charges, the builder said the structure had no sanction plan and that his first plea for regularisation had already been rejected by the CMDA. His second application is pending, he said.  The bench, expressing concern at the “unchecked proliferation of deviated construction,” said: “We think that a time has come for the CMDA to consider whether some safeguards should be provided or should be introduced in the form of regulations, which will bring to the notice of the sanctioning authorities that the builder or the promoter who applies for sanction plan is already facing litigation for construction not in accordance with sanctioned plan. Then, approval shall not be given to such applicants. Some measures like this alone will discourage the persons who have no respect for adhering to the sanctioned plan, and who are motivated by greed and nothing else.”

The bench has adjourned the matter to February 2, for further proceedings.  As per the original Supreme Court order, only those buildings that were completed before the cut off date of February 28, 1999 were eligible for exemption from demolition. However, the state government issued three ordinances in 2000, 2001 and 2002, each time giving a one-year moratorium for the rogue buildings. Though the Madras high court struck down the ordinances in 2007, the apex court ordered status quo.

The government, in the meantime, came out with two more ordinances of similar nature, and the second ordinance is valid till July 2010.

Many builders don’t seek approval in firms’ names  For a city that is struggling to deal with close to two lakh building violations, the Madras high court order on illegal constructions has come as a welcome relief. If followed in letter and spirit, the court order could infuse much-needed transparency into Chennai’s real estate sector.

Reacting to the court order, Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI), Tamil Nadu chapter president, T Chitty Babu said, “We welcome this judgment. It would put an end to further violations in the city. Building violations are indulged in mostly by individuals who construct houses on their own or small-time builders. The court order is a boon for builders who stick to rules and do quality construction. We will educate CREDAI members on the implications of the order. We already have a code of conduct and those who violate development control rules have no place in our organisation. The regulatory agencies should also see to it that no building is given power, water and sewerage connections without obtaining completion certificate.

“Blacklisting those who violate norms is a ticklish issue because many builders do not apply for approvals in their firms’ names. The applicants would be, at times, land owners, with whom builders would have signed joint-venture agreements for promoting the project. In such cases, even if there are violations, the builders would go scot-free. Hence, the CMDA and DTCP will have a tough time tackling this issue,” said Chitty Babu.

CMDA vice chairperson Susan Mathew told TOI, “Looking at the large-scale violations that have taken place in the city in the past, the high court order is significant. However, we will have to read the order and seek government opinion before deciding on further course of action. The issue will be discussed in the meeting of the Authority (CMDA’s supreme decision-making body) on January 19. We have been periodically issuing notices on buildings that have violated rules after July, 2007. Many buildings have also been sealed.”

Chennai has enough of building violations – starting from violation of permissible floor space index (FSI is the ratio of built-up space to land area) to construction of buildings without approval. The government not only failed in reining in builders doing illegal constructions, but also went about condoning many violations in the past through a series of regularisation schemes in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002. However, the high court subsequently struck down the last three regularisation schemes saying that exemptions like regularisation should be given only once.



    1. Dear Mr.Sivaji,

      Rules and Regulations are applicable to all and every building and all types of construction, irrespective of its use.

      ecopackindia team

  2. yes unsrupulous builders should be punished and exposed. because a flat would be purchaser who is from a different line does not know various laws, sanction plans etc. but he would know beforehand whether he should deal with such builder or not. as we see crisil rating of any public issue similarly we should have a background rating of builders.

  3. Sirs,

    What would be the status of building which was constructed in the year 2002. Because we purchased building in the year 2003. However builder has already paid violation charges to CMDA.

    Will there be any issues in future?


    1. Dear Ms.Tiripurasundari,
      If the said regularisation is approved and the charges are paid, an appropriate order is necessary for having regularising it. If it had been approved, then, We do not foresee any issues.
      ecopackindia team

  4. Sirs,
    It is strange that the CREDAI has blamed the individuals who are constructing on their own for the deviations. I can challenge the CREDAI that almost all developers/builders make deviations except Allacrity who is no more in the field. I am openly challenging the CREDAI to show a single builder who is now construction in madipakkam/keelkattalai/kovilambakkam/nanmangalam belt adhering to the free space index. The CMDA very clearly laid out that the FSI except for premium buildings cannot exceed more than 1.5. Let CREDAI show a single document registered in the Registration offices for the last one year to show that the above norm of 1.5 is found in the doucment. In most of the cases it is more than 1.8 and some cases it is 2.3 or more. Further no builder is leaving the set off space of minimum of 1.5(5 feet) meters presently. Only god alone can help?. But let us remember that all these FSI regulation are prescribed bv the CMDA only to make the rescue team and the police team to reach out the premesis to save lives in case of fire, earth quake etc. If we not sticking to these norms, we have to face the bell. Let the members of the CREDAI think over again before accusing the individuals.
    Thanking you,

    1. Dear Sir,

      Thanks for your views. Please forward your views in detail to CMDA and CREDAI, let them make an introspection.
      The buyers must also check the compliance to the bye laws, FSI and SET OFF SPACE, before the purchase, for their own safety. We would like to bring to your notice that at the time of registration, an affidavit is usually submitted with the documents to the SR for registration, in which the buyer and seller makes a declaration that the statements and the contents in the documents are legitimate and the building has been constructed as per the plan or as per the bye law(complied with all statutory requirement) on oath. The SR and the other municipal authorities absolve their sins with this affidavit.
      It is simply the `BUYERS BEWARE`.. If the buyers refuse or reject or do not buy such properties, naturally, the builders, would not build it.
      ecopackindia team

  5. Dear sir,

    I am about to buy a propery located at Ambattur, Chennai. It is a re-sale property constructed on 2007 December and i am buying as a 2nd sale, when i applied for loan 2 banks have reported that there is a deviation 1.65 in building construction and they refused it. Now my seller and builder are convincing me that 1.65 deviation is acceptable and we can try through other banks. Please help me how serious this issue is.


    1. Dear Sir,
      The Chennai town planning authorities are very strict unlike their counterparts in other parts of south india.
      Please request your seller to obtain a NO OBJECTION CERTIFICATE from the competent authority like CMDA for the said violation.

      As per your averment, feel that there is 65% deviation from the sanctioned plan. Is it a minor deviation? Check it thoroughly and consult an architect in this regards before taking any decision.
      ecopackindia team

  6. What is the solution for the problem faced by the innocent seller, who sells the flat with the clear regularised plan approved by CMDA in the year 2001 since no bank is sanctioning housing loan for this property due to the Chennai High court order in the year 2006

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