The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain Hiranandani Developers’ plea against the Bombay high court order, which restrains it from carrying out any further development activity in Powai until it provides flats for the weaker sections of the society.
The real estate firm is behind the development of the upmarket township in Powai, which has made the suburb a plush residential-cum-shopping hub.
A bench of justices HL Dattu and Chandramauli K Prasad said it cannot interfere with the February 22 high court order and prompted the developer to withdraw its plea.
The high court order had stated that the development of the Powai Area Development Scheme (PADS) on 230 acres of land was meant for affordable houses of 400 and 800 square feet, as per the agreement among the state government, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority and the original landowners.
Apart from forbidding further construction, the high court had also directed the MMRDA to prepare a statement detailing the total construction done in PADS, the balance open land under the scheme, the number and area of tenements constructed and a list of purchasers. It has posted the matter for further hearing on April 19.
According to the high court order, the developer will require to construct 1,511 tenements admeasuring 400 square sq ft and 1,593 of 800 sq ft tenements and sell them to the state government at a concessional rate of Rs 135 per sq ft.
The directives were issued on public interest litigations filed by social activist Medha Patkar and city residents Kamlakar Satve and Rajendra Thacker, seeking resumption of 240 acres of land in Powai and Tirandaz villages, which were taken over by the MMRDA for providing affordable housing.
The petitioners alleged that it was a complete breach of the agreement executed on November 19, 1986.
The developer blatantly breached conditions in the agreement and state and MMRDa officials turned a blind eye towards the violations. The petitioners had sought the prosecution of the government officials for negligence, but the court had refused to direct authorities to initiate criminal proceedings against the concerned.
It has, however, granted the petitioners the liberty to lodge criminal complaints against those concerned.
On Friday, YP Singh, Medha Patkar’s counsel, said the petitioners are planning to file criminal complaints in accordance with the liberty granted to them.