The Bombay High Court ruled that the two per cent quota for government allotted flats in Maharashta Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) buildings is at the sole discretion of the state and nobody can demand a flat.
The bench comprising Justice J N Patel and Justice A P Bhangale also held that nobody can claim accommodation from the quota on the basis of it being a legal or constitutional right.
Arun Gaikwad, a resident of Dharavi, had approached the high court in 1996 saying though he had made repeated applications since 1991 to the state requesting residential accommodation from the discretionary quota, the government had not alloted him a flat.
Gaikwad’s lawyer argued that Gaikwad had the right to shelter under the Constitution and argued that it was the duty of the state to construct houses at a reasonable cost and make them available to the poor. “Gaikwad’s contention that he is deprived of personal liberty as guaranteed by the Constitution of India cannot be accepted,” said the court while rejecting his petition last week.
MHADA flats are sold through the procedure of issuing an advertisement in newspapers inviting applications.