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Check illegal transfer of rehab houses: PIL

The state government is considering a proposal to set up an independent body to monitor the illegal transfer of tenements allotted for rehabilitation of slumdwellers.

mumbai Updated: Mar 25, 2011 02:01 IST
HT Correspondent

The state government is considering a proposal to set up an independent body to monitor the illegal transfer of tenements allotted for rehabilitation of slumdwellers.

Government pleader Vijay Patil on Thursday informed the Bombay high court that several amendments have been proposed in the Maharashtra Slum Areas (Improvement, Clearance and Redevelopment) Act, 1971.

One of the amendment pertains to formation of an independent body for monitoring the illegal transfer of rehabilitation tenements.

The proposed amendment has been placed before the state assembly for approval, Patil said. He was replying to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Janhit Manch raising the issue of illegal transfer of tenements allotted to slumdwellers for their rehabilitation.

Representing the organisation, Bhagwanji Rahiyani submitted that several tenements allotted to those removed from unauthorised structures at Sanjay Gandhi National Park were transferred to others, even though they were not authorised to sell or transfer rehabilitation tenements within 10 years of allotment.

The division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice DG Karnik expressed displeasure when they found that out of 121 tenements, 56 were illegally occupied.

“More than half of tenements are occupied illegally,” said justice Karnik. He asked, “What action are you taking?”

Additional government pleader Uma Palsule-Desai replied that authorities had cancelled allotment of 25 slumdwellers for illegally transferring their tenements to others.

The judges then asked if they were evicted from the tenements. “Have you actually dispossessed even one of them? Have you executed at least one of the orders?”

Palsule-Desai replied in negative stating the concerned authorities, who had cancelled allotment, had no authority to evict them.The court has now posted the matter for further hearing after four weeks, in order to see if the state assembly clears the amendment.