Water required by farmers until next monsoon cannot be allowed to be wasted due to requests made by residents of illegally built houses: Madras High Court

The Madras High Court passed a judgement on 11th of April, 2023 in which it dismissed a petition asking for the water of the Anaipalayam Lake, in Namakkal to be released by people residing in illegally constructed houses. This was seen in the case of K. Palanivel v. State of Tamil Nadu and Ors. (W.P.No.32539 of 2022 and W.M.P.No.31942 of 2022) and the case was presided over by The Honourable Mr. Justice D. Bharatha Chakravarthy


The petitioner, filed a writ petition praying the court to issue a Writ of Mandamus to direct the respondents to release the excess water in the Anaipalayam Lake. The petitioners are residents of houses built near the mentioned lake. The houses constructed here do not have the permission from the required authorities.

This area was inspected and considered as unfit for residential uses as the land is liable for submission. Despite the order these houses were built. In 2022, there was a considerable amount of rainfall which filled up the lay lake to the brim and it started overflowing. Now these houses are significantly submerged and people have to walk in two to three feet of water all the time. Thus, this petition was filed.


The learned single judge after listening to the contentions, dismissed the petition. He observed that this water required by farmers until next monsoon and thus cannot be allowed to be wasted due to requests made by residents of illegally built houses.

Principles of larger public good and sustainable development were used as basis for the petitioners’ arguments. Regardless, the court while referring to many case laws, voiced that resources should be put to their natural use and these lands should not have been converted into a residential area in the first place without appropriate permissions. The court did not find any right or equitable consideration in favour of the petitioner or the other alleged residents/cultivators of the submersible water area and thus dismissed the petition.

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