The Bombay high court slammed the Antop Hill police for failing to take action against miscreants who created a riotous situation at a slum rehabilitation project (SRA) at Wadala, and misusing prohibitory powers against the developer of the project.
“Somebody creates a riotous situation in the property, and its owner of the property faces notice under section 149 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. This is not the rule of law, you should have acted against the persons who are creating riotous situation, not against the developer,” said the high court bench of justice AM Khanwilkar and justice RY Ganoo, while hearing a petition filed by Evergreen Developers.
Evergreen Developers, which had undertaken the project involving rehabilitation of 33 families, ran into a roadblock after a group claimed that one of the rooms was a Madrasa, a place used for teaching Islamic theology and religious law.
A communication on June 14 from the police warned the developer of action if it stopped any member from entering the Madrasa, or if it tried to evict the residents. The petition said the notice was based on false complaints by miscreants. Additional public prosecutor AS Gadkari said the notice was issued to maintain public order, and said the police would also initiate action against the group which tried to create a riotous situation.
“Not ‘also’, but ‘only’ against the group,” the judges ordered, clarifying the developer can demolish the room and go ahead with the work.