Judgment of the Supreme Court regarding open space regulation area, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, 13/02/2023

  • 13/02/2023

Judgment of the Supreme Court of India in the matter of Association of Vasanth Apartment's Owners Vs V Gopinath & Others dated 13/02/2023.

The matter is related to 'open space regulation area' (OSR) in developed plots. Justice K M Joseph and Justice Pamidighantam Sri Narasimha said that the areas covered by the OSR cannot be diverted for any other purpose.

The apex court directed that no area meant for OSR shall be utilised as dumping yards or any other purpose than as OSR. The respondents/authorities are "dutybound to ensure that the area set apart as OSR is stringently utilised only for the purpose in the Rule/Regulation".

The Supreme Court upheld Rule 19 of the Development Control Rules for the Chennai Metropolitan Area. The rule mandated that 10 per cent of the area of any developmental plan having area 10,000 sq. meter or more should be reserved as open space for communal anand recreational use. Such open space area has to be transferred to the local authority free of cost through a registered gift deed.

The SC held that Rule 19 did not violate Article 14 for being unreasonable or violate the right to property under Article 300A of the Constitution. "Rule 19 of the DCR is statutory in nature," the Judgment said. Thus, the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority would be empowered to maintain the open space area.

The Development Control Rule is an important part of the Master Plan and was framed under section 17 of the Town and Country Planning Act. The petitioner was challenging the concept of reserving the 10 per cent area for open space and recreational purposes. This is a statutory requirement under Development Control Rule 19 (b) (ii) (vi - c) for all the proposals of group development, where the extent of the site is more than 10,000 m2.