In a ruling that brought relief to industrialist Yash Birla and wife Avanti, the Bombay High Court refused to restrain them and two trustees of the Birla Industries Group Charity Trust from redeveloping their Napean Sea Road property.
Vacation judge justice AP Bhangale was hearing a petition filed by Nazir Chagla, a tenant living at the ground floor of the property — Amji Villa. Chagla had sought to restrain the trustees from carrying out redevelopment work.
The trustees are the owners of the land measuring 967.48 square metres on which the building stands. In 2006, the trustees — Birlas, Arun Singhi and GL Lath – had approached the Small Causes Court seeking Chagla’s eviction stating that they required the premises for their trust. The court restrained the trustees from demolishing or dismantling the premises.
On October 1, the licensed surveyor hired by the Birlas proposed that the structure be retained and that the building comprising ground plus 6 floors with a cantilever portion would be constructed from the second floor above Chagla’s structure.
On October 28, the Birlas started erecting a partition. Chagla’s complaint said the first floor was demolished, damaging his premises. On October 29, Chagla filed a suit before the city civil court saying the Birlas should be restrained. When it was rejected, he approached the HC.