Granting interim relief to Seven Hills Healthcare Private Limited (SHHPL), that runs the SevenHills Hospital in Marol, the Bombay high court on directed the civic body to grant NOC within two weeks so that the hospital can mortgage corporation land to raise funds for running the hospital.
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) counsel Ashutosh Kumbhakoni opposed this on the ground that the hospital could not mortgage the land to Axis Bank as it belonged to the corporation.
SHHPL counsels Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Venkatesh Dhond submitted that former municipal commissioner Johny Joseph and additional municipal commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar had already granted consent for mortgaging the land.
Kumbhakoni countered by submitting that the relevant papers were issued when Joseph was municipal commissioner but was signed by a joint municipal commissioner, which cannot be binding now as the earlier commissioner may not have acted in the interest of the BMC.
A division bench of justice PB Majmudar and justice Mridula Bhatkar stated that if this amounts to fraud, then the civic body will also be a party to it.
“It is shocking that a public body is acting in this manner,” justice Majmudar said. He added that it is impossible for the court to believe that BMC was not aware of the mortgage.
The court was told that the hospital needed to raise Rs250 crore for which it had to mortgage hospital land. The civic body will challenge this order in the apex court.