A state government notification that indirectly called for reservation of 35% tenements for the economically weaker sections (EWS), lower income groups (LIG) and middle income groups (MIG) on plots measuring 2,000 sq m or more was struck down by the Bombay high court on Monday.
The division bench of justice DK Deshmukh and justice ND Deshpande said the notification was issued without following mandatory procedure as prescribed under the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act.
The notification issued by the Urban Development Department on September 16 last year dictated that 25% of tenements be reserved for EWS / LIG and 10% for MIG on any constructions coming up on plots measuring 2,000 square metres or more.
Under the notification all municipalities and municipal corporations across the state were directed to amend their respective Development Control Regulations so as to include the reservation, and forward a proposal for final sanction of the state government. They had been directed to complete the procedure within 90 days, but the notification was brought into effect on the day it was issued.
City-based construction company DB Realty Ltd had challenged the notification saying that it amounted to acquisition of private properties without the authority of law and without making any payments of compensation.
Legal provisions require that authorities call for objections and suggestions from the general public with respect to the proposed amendment in the Development Control Regulations and duly consider the same before making a final decision.
“By straightway implementing proposals by taking recourse to section 154 (of MRTP Act, which empowers the state government to issue appropriate directions to local municipalities) the legislative mandate is destroyed,” the petition stated.
Counsel for DB Realty, VR Dhond, pointed out that this procedure had not been followed before issuing the notification of September 16. He argued that the state government could not have issued directives under Section 154 of the MRTP Act unless final plans were sanctioned.