In a major reprieve for Kohinoor CTNL Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, the Bombay high court on Monday struck down an order passed by an additional municipal commissioner of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporationadditional municipal commissionerupper floors, although a 14-floor parking facility was approved by the civic body.
The division bench of justices DY Chandrachud and RD Dhanuka set aside the order dated April 27 primarily on the ground that a substantial amount of construction had been completed when the order was passed.
The public parking facility was part of a larger project involving construction of three wings (see box). The BMC had cleared the plans for the project in October 2010 when the letter of intent (LoI) had been issued for construction of the three wings, one of which to incorporate a public parking lot, in accordance with a scheme floated by the civic body.
Under the scheme, developers were offered an incentive floor space index of 50% of the space made available to the civic body for public parking free-of-cost. However, in June last year, the then-civic chief issued a circular limiting the height of public parking lots to seven stories — a two-storied basement, and ground and four upper floors. Besides, the developer was also required to pay premium at the rate of 40% of the market value of the incentive FSI, minus the cost of construction of the public parking facility.
Accordingly, a notice was issued to the developer calling upon them to explain why the LoI should not be revoked. The notice was followed by a stop-work order on December 22, and ultimately the additional municipal commissioner issued a final order on April 27 limiting construction of the parking lot to four floors.
The counsel for the developer argued that they were entitled to protection as envisaged under the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act, and the civic body could not have passed the order after substantial amount of construction had been completed. The court accepted his contention and struck down the additional municipal commissioner’s order.