Forty-five families of retired or serving defence personnel living in the controversial Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society at Cuffe Parade are likely to get re lief from the Bombay high court.
The high court on Tuesday suggested that the housing society should try to accommodate all its non-civilian members on lower floors, which are within the building’s initially sanctioned height of 30 metres, after which the court will consider their request for restoring electricity and water supply to the building.
A division bench of Justice BH Marlapalle and Justice UD Salvi has given the society time until Thursday, when its petition challenging the disconnection of water supply and electricity will come up for hearing.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport undertaking disconnected water supply and electricity to the society in the first week of November after the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s (MMRDA) decision to revoke the occupancy certificate issued to the housing society after it came under the scanner for allegedly violating environment norms.
Adarsh society has challenged the action contending that the rule of natural justice was not followed.
During the hearing on the society’s petition, the bench asked additional government pleader, Ranjitsingh Bhosale why the MMRDA, a special planning authority for Backbay Reclamation, did not undertake the procedure stipulated in the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act, 1966, for dropping the plan to widen Captain Prakash Pethe Marg, and why the state government took the decision without following due procedure.
The judges also asked Bhosale under what legal provisions was the floor space index of an adjoining plot allotted to Adarsh. The judges said they wanted answers for every question.
The bench also expressed surprise about how one of the members, Vishwas Chowgule, hailing from Islampur in Sangli district got to know about Adarsh society and fulfilled its financial criteria.
The judges also said that some of the members of the society were mere students, who could not have at met the eligibility criteria for membership.