The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada), on Monday, informed the Bombay High Court that it would acquire a 1,000 square-metre plot at Oshiwara, that it did not own, yet had allotted to a private school trust.
Mhada counsel G W Mattos told the high court that the authority was now trying to acquire the plot, through private negotiations, after Raigad Military School Trust constructed an eight-storey building there. Mattos added that the housing authority would resort to compulsory acquisition (under the Land Acquisition Act, which cannot be challenged in court) if negotiations failed.
In April 2004, Mhada had allotted a 6,732 square-metre plot to Raigad Military School Trust and 4,268 square metres to Raj Purohit Trust, which included 1,000 square metres owned by Yucca Bocarro Almeida.In March 2005, the Almeidas learnt of the development after Raigad Military School started constructing the building. Early this year, the Almeidas moved the high court seeking that the plot be vacated.
During an earlier hearing, their lawyer, Ashutosh Kumbhakoni, pointed out that Mhada had allotted their plot without permission, and therefore must pay compensation.
The high court directed Mattos to inform the court about the status of acquisition of the plot. On Monday, the counsel informed a division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice D Y Chandrachud that Mhada had not acquired the plot.
The bench disposed off the petition, recording his statement that Mhada was currently engaged in private negotiations, and would resort to compulsory acquisition. The private negotiations, however, are going on with one Parsi Vegetarian and Temperance Society, which has also staked claim of ownership to the plot.