Chennai: The Madras High Court on Thursday ordered status quo till December 23 relating to a building allotted to former Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister and sitting legislator M K Stalin to run a constituency office.

The order was issued by Justice V Dhanapalan on a petition by Stalin, seeking to quash a Chennai Municipal Corporation order of recovering the premises from him.

Stalin, elected from the newly created Kolathur assembly constituency, said the corporation had allotted him the building in the constituency to run the MLA office. The renovated building was an old one and had not been used for at least 10 years, he claimed.

Submitting that the corporation had adopted a resolution today, authorising recovery of the building, he charged the authorities with being determined to take over the building.

He alleged that certain false information had been furnished in the resolution, making it appear as if a court order existed making it clear that the building should be used only for educational activities.

At no point of time had the 4500 square feet structure been used for such purpose and a major portion of it was always kept locked, he contended.

Claiming that the whole exercise by the AIADMK-run corporation was "only to satisfy their political masters and not with respect to any other public reason", Stalin said since the portion of the building had been allotted to him in July last, the government through the Municipal Administration and Water Supply department started questioning the allocation.

Justice Dhanapalan said after hearing the Advocate General, he intended to hear the action contemplated under the Chennai City Municipal Corporation Act, under which the State

Government should give an opportunity of hearing to the person concerned before initiating action.

Earlier on Thursday, the Corporation cancelled the allotment of the building to Stalin for use as his MLA office amidst a walkout by DMK. Stalin had dubbed the move as being "a result of narrow-minded thinking" by ruling AIADMK.

(Agencies)