Refusing to wait for two months for the state to decide whether it wants to withdraw its resolution allotting a 2,580-sqm plot to a south Mumbai school, the Bombay High Court on Thursday said it will pass an order in the matter next week.
The Maharashtra government had issued a resolution in 1,990 allotting half of a 5,700-sq m plot to GD Somani School, Cuffe Parade, to develop it as its playground. The school was to construct a municipal school building on the other half.
The government resolution (GR) said this was being done because the BMC did not have the money to construct a school.
Last week, the high court had asked the government to consider withdrawing the resolution after the BMC’s counsel said that the civic body now had the money to construct the school.
On Thursday, additional government pleader KR Belosay told the court that the state government would take at least two months to decide whether it wanted to withdraw the GR.
“The winter session [of the state Assembly] is on at Nagpur and none of the ministers are available here to take a decision,” Belosay said. “After the sessions ends by the end of the month, a decision will be taken in consultation with all the concerned departments.”
A division bench of justice DK Deshmukh and justice RY Ganoo refused to wait for two months and said they would hear the petition and pass an order on December 13.
The Cuffe Parade Residents’ Association had filed a PIL in 1991 challenging the allotment of the plot to GD Somani School for a playground.
Aspi Chenoy and Beni Chatterji, counsels for the Association, argued that the government had allotted land worth approximately Rs 400 crore today, without inviting tenders.
The school’s counsel, Rafiq Dada, argued that the institution had planned to construct an entire building, which the BMC will be using as a school, and develop the remaining half of the plot as its playground.