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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

HC paves way for demolition of illegal floors in Campa Cola building

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, July 26, 2013
First Published: 09:39 IST(26/7/2013) | Last Updated: 09:41 IST(26/7/2013)

 More than two months after residents of the illegal floors of Worli’s Campa Cola compound got a temporary respite from eviction, the Bombay high court on Wednesday paved the way for the demolition of the two upper floors of one of the eight buildings in the complex.

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The judge, while rejecting a plea filed by the Shubh Apartment cooperative housing society, noted that subsequent purchase of additional floor space index (FSI) cannot legalise blatantly unauthorised constructions.

The society had moved court challenging a city civil court order on the demolition.

Counsel for the society, Zal Andhyaryujina, had argued that the society had additional FSI and therefore the two upper floors could have been regularised.

“Purchase of FSI cannot legalise such unauthorised construction,” justice Roshan Dalvi said.

“Upon purchase of the FSI, the plaintiff [the society] would get the right to construct. That right would have to be exercised in accordance with law,” the judge added.

The judge also rejected the society’s contention that its case was different from that of seven other buildings in the compound, owing to the additional FSI.

The judge observed that construction must conform to legal requirements.

“The plaintiff must get plans approved for such further construction,” justice Dalvi said. “If that is not done, the construction is wholly unauthorised.”

In November 2005, Shubh Apartments had approached the city civil court after receiving a notice from the civic body for demolition of two upper floors.

The court then ordered the BMC to maintain status quo with respect to the two upper floors.

However, earlier this year, illegal constructions in the entire complex came under the Supreme Court’s purview, which, on February 27, 2013, while hearing another set of litigations on the Campa Cola compound, directed the BMC to pull down all 35 illegal floors in the complex, spread across 140 flats in eight buildings.

It later granted five months to residents to vacate the complex.

Armed with the SC order, the BMC moved city civil court, seeking to vacate order of status quo on the demolition of Shubh Apartments.

The court vacated the status quo, an order upheld by the HC on Wednesday.


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