February 8, 2018
The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court on Thursday ordered all the shopkeepers inside the premises of then Meenakshi Amman kovil to vacate as their presence endangered the safety of the heritage structure.
Earlier this week, a sudden fire engulfed the shopping complexes inside the premises that gutted some 70 shops. The Madras High Court ruling came after the aggrieved shopkeepers blamed the temple authorities for the fire and sought compensation.
Swift action by shopkeepers prevented further damage, they maintained in their submission to the court and sought damages from then temple authorities for failure to provide safety to their shops.
Even an electrician was not available when needed the shopkeepers contended as they argued that the fault was squarely that of the authorities that their shops were gutted Firefighters fought for over two hours to bring the fire under control but not before 70 shops were gutted.
Justice Bharatidasan said that all the shopkeepers who received notices must remove their shops by tomorrow positively. The shopkeepers can temporarily store their articles at places shown by the authorities but in three weeks they must vacate the premises completely, the court ordered.