There seems to be no end to the legal battle over the Campa Cola compound at Worli.
Now, a flat owner in one of the societies has approached the Bombay high court (HC), seeking the cancellation of the lease to a cold drink manufacturing unit, and has sought that the civic body take back the land mesauring 17,907.6 sqm.
Since 2005, residents of the societies have been locked in a legal battle with the civic body, which has deemed the buildings illegal.
The land, which was owned by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), was leased to Pure Drinks Pvt Ltd in 1962. The civic body then allowed the company to develop it for residential purposes in 1980. The company, along with three builders, constructed high-rises which were not approved by the BMC. Despite being asked to stop work, they went ahead and sold the flats. The BMC did not issue the Occupation Certificate (OC) to those flats.
Chandru Khemlani, who resides in Orchid Co-operative Housing Society in the compound, has now demanded that the lease to Pure Drinks be revoked on the ground of violation. A division bench of justice Abhay Oka and justice Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi on April 6 directed the municipal commissioner to file a reply by June 10. The bench has also issued notices to Pure Drinks Pvt Ltd.
In his petition filed through advocate Pradeep Havnur, the 46-year-old businessman has contended that the BMC had created the lease in favour of Pure Drinks for a limited purpose of manufacturing cold drinks and putting up construction for housing offices, film studios, laboratories, godowns, workshops and residences for their employees.
“However, the very purpose of executing the lease deed was defeated by the BMC by creating third party interests,” Khemlani has said. “Pure Drinks has therefore violated the lease conditions and therefore it would be appropriate to resume the said land,” the petition adds.
Alleging that the lessee and the developers created false and fabricated documents, Khemlani demanded a detailed enquiry in the matter.
He has alleged that the civic officials allowed illegal construction to be carried out.
The BMC should have taken immediate action and cancelled the lease upon realising the breaches, but they did not act. “This itself establishes the nexus between the respondents inter-se,” the petition says.