A developer in Mumbai has lost rights to develop a cluster project spread over 5.13 lakh sqm of land at Malwani in Malad, as the Bombay high court on Thursday turned down his plea challenging the cancellation of his appointment by the Maharashtra government.
The bench refused to exercise its extraordinary jurisdiction stating the developer had failed to obtain the consent of 70% of the slum dwellers.
A division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice BP Colabawalla rejected a petition filed by Lashkaria Construction Private Limited challenging an order of April 24, 2012, passed by the state government cancelling the approval for the cluster — development of slums and non-slum areas together — and the Letter of Intent (LoI) issued to the developer by the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA).
“The petitioner [developer] has kept cluster development of the lands as large as 5.13 lakh sqm in limbo,” the bench said. “The project is for rehabilitation of about 17,000 slum dwellers,” it said, adding, “The petitioner has not been steadfast with regard to the time required for obtaining consent of slum dwellers.”
The bench noted the developer had failed to obtain consent of 70% of the slum dwellers (it could obtain consent of only 30-35%). The court also said though a prolonged period had lapsed after the issuance of the LoI, the developer had sought two more years to fulfil the consent condition. Besides, the court noted the developer had also taken a refund of Rs 52.41 crore, which he had deposited with the SRA as part payment of land premium of Rs 349.44 crore.
“Without having made any progress in implementation of the project, without anything at stake and without any equity in its favour, the petitioner wants restoration of all the orders, conferring on the petitioner the monopoly to redevelop 5.13 lakh square metres of land,” the judges said, while dismissing the petitioner.