In a major boost to redevelopment of old, dilapidated cessed buildings in Mumbai, the Bombay high court (HC) on Tuesday struck down a corrigendum issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), which restricted the benefit of floor space index (FSI) of 3 only to certain redevelopment projects.
The CRZ notification of January 2011 had recognised the need to pave the way for redevelopment of old, dilapidated cessed buildings (constructed prior to 1940) in the island city and provided the development control regulation (DCR) prevailing on the date of approval for redevelopment of such buildings will be applicable to them. The corrigendum issued on March 29, 2011, however, changed the wording of the clause in the CRZ notification and provided that the DCR prevailing on the date of issuance of the notification – January 6, 2011 – will be applicable to the redevelopment projects.
In effect, the corrigendum took away the benefit of an amendment to the DCR in May 2011, which extended the benefit of additional 0.5 FSI for redevelopment of cessed buildings.
Orbit Corporation, which owns a plot of land on Napean Sea Road admeasuring 1020.9 sqm, along with a category-I cessed building, had challenged the validity of the corrigendum on various grounds. It contended the corrigendum has illegally taken away the right to utilize FSI of 3 while redeveloping its property at Napean Sea Road. It contended the corrigendum was put forth as a measure to correct some typographical errors in the CRZ notification and hence was not open to substantial amendments by MoEF officials.
The division bench of justice VM Kanade and justice AR Joshi accepted the contention raised on behalf of the petitioner company struck down the corrigendum.