The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) was reprimanded for its double standards while handling a matter involving a prime plot at Worli owned by pharma-giant Glaxo Smithkline Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
"This does not appear to be fair," the division bench of justice SA Bobade and justice RD Dhanuka of the Bombay high court said. "You (BMC) cannot discriminate like this," the judges told the civic body's counsel referring to the fact that the civic commissioner had given a personal hearing to I-Ven Realty, with whom the pharma giant has entered into an agreement for development of one of the two plots at Worli.
"Hearing one party and not hearing the other in the same transaction is not fair," the judges said and suggested the BMC take a fresh decision after giving an opportunity to Glaxo Smithkline.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Glaxo Smithkline challenging an October 2009 order passed by the then civic commissioner revoking certain permission granted to the company, including its transaction with I-Ven Realty for part of the Worli property.
The pharma giant contended that the order was passed without giving them an opportunity of personal hearing, when the order had been passed after hearing a representative of I-Ven Realty.
On the other hand, it has been submitted on behalf of BMC that giving a personal hearing was not a must under the law and therefore the company could not make any grievance about it.
The civic body further contended that the assistant municipal commissioner (Estates), who had granted permission for sub-division of the plot, had no authority to do so and only the Improvement Committee had been authorised to handle issues pertaining to lands.