The scheme for rehabilitation of nearly 3,500 slum-dwellers of Siddharth Colony at Chembur is likely to be delayed with the Bombay high court directing the various stake-holders, including Deepak Nikalje — brother of fugitive gangster Chhota Rajan — to maintain status quo at the project site.
The division bench of justice PB Majmudar and justice RM Sawant also stayed an order passed by the High Powered Committee (HPC) on July 20 directing the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) to re-verify consents of eligible slum dwellers in favour of Adishakti Developers, a firm owned by Nikalje.
The court was hearing two petitions — one filed by Nikalje and the other by Siddharth Colony Vikas Seva Sangh Sahakari Grihanirman Sanstha, a federation of 22 co-operative housing societies formed by the slum dwellers.
The federation appointed Adishakti Developers for implementing the scheme in August 2006. Thereafter, in February 2007, Deepak formed a company — Adishakti Grihanirman Pvt. Ltd — taking some others as directors on its board along with his wife Sailaxmi. An application to process the project proposal in the name of the company was successfully cleared by the SRA.
In May 2009, following a dispute with other directors, Nikalje filed a plea to revert to the original proposer — Adishakti Developers. The order of the SRA processing the proposal in the name of Adishakti Developers was challenged by Bhats before the HPC, which issued the impugned order of July 2011.
The court deferred further hearing for two weeks.