“Hindustan Times Bhopal Live” dated November 22 has carried an article written by Dr M N Buch “The Ansal Apartments imbroglio”. Dr Buch is a very respected person and is an authority on Urban Law and Administration.
He has held very senior posts in the State of Madhya Pradesh. However, I feel certain facts to enlighten the people should be put forth to straighten the record. There are 180 flats on Ansal’s premises, 45 situated on the ground floor and 135 on the other floors.
The flat owners on the ground floor gradually encroached land appurtenant to their flats, with the result that parking areas for vehicles shrunk and land reserved for community purposes disappeared.
The open areas shown for these purposes in the layout and approved maps are nowhere to be seen. Naturally, the flat owners on the other floors complained to the Municipal Corporation which issued notices to the flat owners situated on the ground floor.
For almost two years no further action was taken by the corporation. Sometimes in the 1st week of June 2005, the flat owners on the other floors again approached the corporation for removal of the encroachment. Fresh notices were issued and it is learnt that June 16, 2006, was fixed for removal of encroachment.
However, on that day nothing happened and in the meantime the flat owners on the ground floor obtained temporary injunction from the civil court. Some of the residents of the other floors also joined as party along with the Municipal Corporation in the civil court.
The civil court vacated the injunction after 3-4 hearings. Appeal before the Additional Sessions Judge by the flat owners of the ground floor was also rejected. Their appeal before the MP High Court was dismissed in May 2006. Several requests were made to Municipal Corporation for implementing the order of the High Court and at last the Municipal Corporation acted on September 14, 2006, and demolished almost 80-90 per cent illegal construction. The remaining construction is yet to be removed.
When in May-June 2005, the residents of Ansal Apartments came to know that Municipal Corporation and did not take any action on their complaint in 2003 because of intervention of some influential quarters, they approached Dr M N Buch and sought his help for removing encroachments. He was taken on the top of the roof and saw things for himself.
He was so moved that he said in the presence of several people that if he were the Municipal Corporation Administrator he would have demolished all the construction even without any notice. Obviously, he will know that the Municipal Corporation is competent to do this, as he has himself prepared the draft act and rules in this regard and had been administrator in different corporations for a long period.
Section 3 and 4 to the Madhya Pradesh Prakoshath Swamitva Adhiniyam very clearly mention that land appurtenant to flat is common area and can neither be sold by the builder nor given to any one for his exclusive use by the society. Moreover, the registered documents of not a single flat owner on the ground floor specify the area set aside for his/her exclusive use. The registry is only for the flat area.
Dr Buch is a very respected person and I always touch his feet as I consider him an embodiment of honesty and integrity. But in this particular case, I feel he is wrong on facts as well as on interpretation of law. A High Court order has to be implemented unless amended or set aside by the Supreme Court. In fact as enquiry needs to be conducted in this case as to why it was not implemented so long.
J L Ajmani, IAS (Retd)L-202-203, Ansal Apartments Shyamla Hills, Bhopal