The Madras High Court Wednesday permitted the Tamil Nadu government to unveil the newly constructed 'MGR centenary arch' here, proposed to commemorate the birth centenary of late chief minister and ruling AIADMK founder M G Ramachandran, but without any ceremony.
A division bench, comprising justices M Sathyanarayanan and P Rajamanickam, said only the green net covering the arch should be removed, "without any ceremony in any manner".
On November 19, 2018, the bench had passed an interim order, restraining the state government from inaugurating the arch, to come up off the famous Marina beach, till the disposal of a public interest litigation petition opposing it.
The petitioner alleged that the arch was constructed by encroaching on the arterial Kamarajar Salai and its pedestrian space meant for public use in total violation of various legislations.
As per the Tamil Nadu Highways Act, no permanent structure can be constructed either on the middle or the pathway of a road. Hence, any construction was unauthorised, he had said.
The ruling AIADMK celebrated the birth centenary of MGR, as Ramachandran was popularly known, in 2017 on a grand scale and Chief Minister K Palaniswami laid the foundation stone for the arch in August 2018.
The 66 feet wide and 52 feet tall arch would come up on Kamaraj Salai, abutting the Marina Beach, where the late matine idol-turned politician's memorial is also located.
A charismatic leader, MGR, a recipient of the Bharat Ratna, ruled Tamil Nadu from 1977 till his death in 1987 after breaking away from the DMK and forming the AIADMK in 1972.
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