Plea alleges illegal fee collection in markets

Madurai

The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court has sought response from the authorities on a public interest litigation petition that has alleged an illegal collection of fee at the daily and the weekly markets of the Usilampatti Panchayat Union.

A Division Bench of Justices Pushpa Sathyanarayana and P. Velmurugan ordered notice on the petition filed by V.P. Ammavasai of Usilampatti in the district. He alleged that the fee collection was taking place without licence for over seven years.

Ammavasai, an elected ward member of the Usilampatti Panchayat Union, said that the licence for the collection of fee from the shopkeepers, vehicles entering the market, for cattle and other vendors was granted to private persons through a public auction in 2007.

The licence was granted for four years and was valid till 2011. Subsequently, a resolution was passed by the Usilampatti Panchayat Union and the licence was extended to a further three years till 2014. It was clear that the licence had expired in 2014, but still the same persons were collecting the fee.

No steps have been taken to stop the irregularities and the illegal collection of fees was still continuing. It has caused revenue loss to the Usilampatti Panchayat Union. Therefore, the illegal collection of fees should be stopped and the money recovered, he said.

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