CHENNAI: After more than 22 years, the Kalaimagal Sabha case came back to life with the Madras high court opting out of the liquidation process and, instead, directing the state government to appoint a new official to take over the administration.
Kalaimagal Sabha is facing charges of having indulged in a multi-crore real estate scam duping more than 5 lakh depositors. So far, the administration of the society was being monitored by the Madras high court through court-appointed advocate-receivers.
The receivers were given the Herculean task of selling about 13,000 acres of land procured by the society in Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka and settling the dues of the depositors.
In the past 22-years, the receivers managed to dispose of only 870.13 acres. Now, realising that court-monitored administration cannot be a solution for the issue, Justice S M Subramaniam has directed the state government to take over the society.
“Undoubtedly, it would be difficult for receivers to deal with such nature of matters as they lack required administrative machinery to carry on such activities,” the judge said. They have to depend on various factors and government machineries, which may not be workable on many occasions, he added.
“This court is of the concrete opinion that the high court is not expected to venture into monitoring administration of this nature, as it will create doubt in the minds of the people in general regarding the manner in which the properties are dealt with by the receivers,” the court said.
The judge added that it became unnecessary for the HC, more specifically under Article 226 of the Constitution. There are government machineries under the provisions of the Societies Act which all are to be pressed into service for the purpose of dealing with any such irregularities or illegalities in any registered society.
“These kinds of monitoring can never be allowed to continue and if it is allowed to continue, the members will lose trust in the system in getting back their hard-earned money, which they had invested prior to 1999,” the court said.
The court then directed the state to appoint a special officer not below the rank of assistant inspector general of registration to take over the administration of the society within three weeks.