Chennai: Madras High Court has declined to compel the Puducherry government to issue No objection certificate to an educational trust which did not even have the mandatory minimum land to start an Arts and Science college.
"Possession of land is a primary requirement which cannot be relaxed. If an applicant failed to satisfy even this basic requirement for making application for permission to establish a college, the state would be justified in rejecting permission," Justice K K Sasidharan said, dismissing a petition of K S P Educational Trust, Kathirkamam, Puducherry.
"If applications of this nature are entertained from trusts/societies, without complying with even the basic statutory requirements, there would be mushroom growth of such applications. NOC in such cases would become a saleable commodity," the judge observed.
The trust had applied for NOC in January this year with an unregistered document stating that a six-acre plot had been taken on 99-year lease from Thenkalai Sri Varadaraja Perumal Devasthanam but it was rejected as it did not fulfil UGC norms following which the plea was filed.
Rejecting its arguments, Justice Sasidharan said the lease deed was an unregistered document and the Devasthanam does not have power to lease temple lands without Court`s permission.
"The president of the Devasthanam has no right to give a lease of temple land for a period of 99 years to the trust. The unregistered lease is legally invalid," the judge said.
"In case this tendency of giving temple property on lease/sale is permitted, public interest would suffer," he said and directed Puducherry government to act against those who treated temple land as their private property.