While the Mhada has often said it does not have enough land to build affordable houses, the Bombay high court last week noticed that a prime plot admeasuring 12,000sqm, acquired for the housing body, the Central Railway and the BEST, is lying unguarded and some people are staking claims over it.
Justice Roshan Dalvi has asked the state government and the other bodies for what purpose was the land, adjacent to the Eastern Express Highway, acquired in the 1980s.
The judge noted the encroachment on the plot while hearing two suits filed by Abdul Rehman Anjaria, seeking performance details on memorandum of understandings (MoUs) signed between him and one Mohammed Shah for developing the property.
Justice Dalvi sought documents related to the right, title and interest of the property after she doubted Shah’s claim over it. The judge noted Anjaria would be entitled to sue and claim performance details of the MoUs only if Shah had the title to the properties.
The property register cards, produced by Anjaria, revealed that while part of the plot was acquired in 1971 for the Maharashtra Housing Area Development Authority (Mhada), the rest was shown in possession of the Collector, Mumbai suburban district, the BEST. Some remarks made reference to Vikhroli Trombay Arterial Railway Siding, for which the property was acquired.
“The suit properties are shown to have been encroached by rank trespassers prior to the suit being filed,” justice Dalvi said. “The suit is wholly false and purportedly collusive. “The plaintiff (Anjaria) and/or defendant No.1 (Shah) have sought to create rights in the property which belongs to the State of Maharashtra.”
The court has now posted the matter for further hearing on April 27.