The Bombay high court on Tuesday said that the Maharashtra government’s proposed regularisation policy for unauthorised constructions across the state would create many “loopholes” in the system and lead to “increased litigation.”
A division bench of AS Oka and Anuja Prabhudessai were hearing a public interest litigation on rampant unauthorised construction in the Digha area in Navi Mumbai. In compliance with previous orders and its own submissions, the state had submitted its regularisation policy and had sought the court’s permission to implement it.
The policy seeks to regularise all such illegal structures in the state that were constructed before December 31, 2015.
The court had earlier rejected the state’s previous proposed regularisation policy terming it arbitrary. Thereafter, the government had come out with another policy on July 2016.
“We fear that the proposed regularisation policy will lead to increased litigation by creating so many loopholes for people to argue,” said Justice AS Oka.
Advocate general Rohit Deo however, argued that “the proposed policy, in fact, aimed at making the existing system more stringent.”
Pointing out various clauses of the policy that allow for regularisation of illegal constructions on state owned or central government owned land, the court questioned the implications of the policy and gave several examples of how it could be disastrous.
“Does this not sound disastrous that construction on dumping ground can be regularised by issuing a No Objection Certificate by the civic body?” the bench said.
Deo however, said that the policy was in “compliance with the Development Control (DC) norms and Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning (MRTP) Act.”
The bench though, questioned why the government needed to bring about a policy if everything could be “regularised under existing rules and regulations.”
“If you are not doing anything contrary to rules then what is the need for the policy. Can we record that no construction will be regularised in violation of DC rules or MRTP Act?” the bench said.
Deo said that the proposed policy was brought about to ensure uniformity on what could be regularized and the compounding charges which can be levied.
Arguments in the matter will continue on Wednesday.