A day after Hindustan Times reported how the BMC chose not to retain its tenancy rights over a property that housed a civic school, the civic body has decided to order an inquiry into the matter.
Additional municipal commissioner Mohan Adtani told Hindustan Times that the administration would probe why the law department did not represent the case in court, when it came up for hearing in January this year.
"The court should have been told that the owner of the chawl had not opened a bank account, because of which the civic body could not transfer the rent to his account. But that did not happen," Adtani said.
He made it clear that after losing the case in the small causes court, the law department did not inform the administration about the need to file an appeal in the high court.
"The administration was kept in dark about it. An inquiry will be made in this matter and appropriate action will be taken against the guilty," he said.
The owner of Irani Chawl in Dadar, where a 10-classroom Hindi medium civic school was running, had approached the court asking BMC to vacate the premises.
The school had 10 classrooms spread over 2,000 square feet of chawl area. The cost of the premises, as per prevailing land rate in the area, which is around Rs 25,000 per square foot, comes to about Rs 5 crore.
Yet, instead of contesting the case, the civic body virtually handed the property back to the owner by not representing its case well. Worse, in spite of being given the 90 days to appeal against the verdict in the high court, the civic body did not do so.
Last week, following the court order, the 45-year-old school was forced shut and the 132 students of the school had to be shifted to another BMC school in Prabhadevi.
After the closure of the school, the BMC administration finally approached the high court, where the appeal will be heard on Monday.