The Madras High Court today cautioned against treating every individual encroachment case as a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) stating that the appropriate procedure would be to first approach the local authority by making a representation..While dealing with an encroachment case concerning revenue land, which was filed as a PIL, Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee orally observed that,"If every encroachment matter becomes a PIL, we will be doing nothing else.".In yet another encroachment PIL case taken up this afternoon, the Bench of Chief Justice Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy reiterated that public interest litigations cannot be entertained for every encroachment that has taken place unless there is a big issue which comes to the fore or it is a matter of general public importance..In its order passed in the first case, the Court noted that while no encroachment should be permitted on public land, every individual complaint made by a passerby cannot be treated as PIL..Ideally, a representation on the alleged encroachment may be made to the concerned authority, who should endeavour to examine the allegations and remove the encroachment, if any, on government land. .The Court added that the authorities should also check whether the complainant has any interest in the matter, to ensure that representations are not made only out of private enmity or allied reasons. .In the event the local administration does not take appropriate steps, an individual writ petition can be filed, but not by way of a PIL, the Court said..The Court proceeded to underscore,."As a matter of policy, unless large tracts are involved or a general issue covering the entire State is brought to the notice of the court, individual cases of encroachment ought not to be entertainment by way of PIL without the procedure indicated above being resorted to.".During the hearing today, the counsel appearing for the State's Housing Board, which was a respondent in the matter, contended that the petitioner was a litigating gambler who has attempted to stall many of the government's projects on earlier occasions. .Clarifying that the Court is not entertaining the matter on merits, the Bench proceeded to dispose of the PIL by directing the concerned authority to examine the petitioner's representation within 4 weeks' time. .In the second case taken up in the afternoon, the Court directed the concerned authority to consider the petitioner's representation within 6 weeks' time, adding that immediate steps should be taken to remove the encroachment from government land, if any is found..On a related note, a Bench of Justices N Kirubakaran and B Pugalendhi recently observed that most the High Court's valuable time is spent on a rising number of cases concerning land or water encroachment..Encroachments rising by the day, most of Court's valuable time is spent on encroachment cases: Madras High Court.The menace of encroachments is increasing day by day, the Madurai Bench of the Court had observed, adding that time the could have been spent on other cases requiring the Court’s attention is being spent on encroachment cases.