The Bombay high court pulled up the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation for “shifting the responsibility” of allotting a plot for a cemetery in Bandra and Khar to the state government
A division bench of chief justice Dr Manjula Chellur and justice GS Kulkarni was hearing a petition filed by Furqan Qureshi in April last year.
Qureshi’s petition said there was no cemetery for the Sunni Muslim community in Bandra and Khar, forcing people to use the one at Juhu, Santacruz or Bandra (East) — all of which were far for residents of Bandra (West) and Khar (West). Through his lawyer, Ashraf Shaikh, the petitioner asked that land be allotted in the area.
When the petition first came for hearing, the civic body and the state government brushed off the responsibility, and began shifting the burden on the other.
“The corporation’s affidavit indicates that they are shifting the responsibility of allotting a place for the kabrastan (cemetery) — for the community in question — to the government. The government pleader said the municipality has to find a place. We fail to understand the stand of both the state and the corporation, which are meant for the welfare of the public, but keep shifting responsibility to each other,” the court observed after the first hearing on December 22 last year.
The court asked the corporation to file an affidavit on the status of the allotment of land. On January 20, the corporation told the court no place had been allotted for a cemetery.
“We are unable to accept the corporation’s statement that they have not earmarked anything in the special planning area block A for the cemetery,” the court said. The court asked the BMC to file a fresh affidavit in two weeks.