Residents of housing societies forced to either languish in their dilapidated buildings or in rented accommodation because a few members changed their minds about the redevelopment proposal can take heart.
Safeguarding the interests of the majority members in such cases, the Bombay high court, on Thursday, said, "Consent once given by members of a housing society cannot be allowed to be revoked."
Paving the way for a huge construction project at Goregaon, the division bench of justice DY Chandrachud and justice AV Mohta, said, "If that is allowed to be done, no redevelopment project can be completed."
Dismissing two petitions challenging the redevelopment of Siddharth Nagar at Goregaon, the bench added, "In a project of such magnitude, there are always some occupants who shift loyalty after some new developer promises enhanced facilities."
The dissenting occupants had moved high court challenging redevelopment of the old Mhada colony in Goregaon spread over 10 acres. They contended that the developer had not obtained mandatory consent for redevelopment from 70% occupants.
The high court, however, discarded the contention, noting that Mhada had already verified the consent - 472 of 672 occupants had given their consent for the redevelopment - as directed by the High Powered Committee earlier.
The petitioners had also contended that the state government had allotted 10 acres to their society, but the developer, HDIL, had proposed to rehabilitate them on 4.43 acres and utilise the rest for commercial purposes.
The high court discarded the argument saying the developer was entitled to recover the cost of construction to re-house the occupants in multi-storeyed buildings. Besides, the court noted, the developer had agreed to enhance carpet area of flats for the residents from 565 to 650 square feet, and provide Rs 25 crore as corpus for their society.
The court also considered the fact that the redevelopment work had started and 412 structures were already demolished and a delay in implementation would hamper the interests of majority members who had moved out of house.