Bombay HC orders demolition of ‘unauthorised’ parts of Narayan Rane’s Juhu house
The high court rejected the company’s petition which sought directions from the BMC to consider their second application for regularisation of the excess construction
In a major setback to Union minister Narayan Rane, the Bombay high court on Tuesday directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to demolish the unauthorised portions of the Bharatiya Janata Party leader’s eight-storey family bungalow in Mumbai’s Juhu as it violated the floor space index (FSI) and coastal regulation zone (CRZ) regulations.
The HC rejected the company’s petition which sought directions from the BMC to consider their second application for regularisation of the excess construction.
The division bench of justice RD Dhanuka and justice Kamal Khata ruled that permitting the petition will encourage large scale unauthorised constructions, which was against the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court and the high court. The court, hence, rejected the petition filed by Kalka Real Estate and also imposed a cost of ₹10 lakh on the company.
“The BMC cannot be allowed to take steps inconsistent with the Supreme Court and high court judgments and provisions of the statutes,” said the bench, referring to the willingness expressed by the civic body to consider the second plea filed by the firm, though its first application was rejected.
“The petitioners have admittedly constructed three times above the permissible limit and without obtaining permissions from BMC, fire department and Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA),” said the bench, highlighting the illegalities involved in construction of the eight-storied structure. “The application for proposed retention will amount to encouragement of large-scale violation within the city of Mumbai without any concern for the statutory provisions,” it added.
The court also refused to take into consideration the firm’s contention about the additional FSI being available for regularising the excess construction and rejected their plea for retention of the unauthorised construction is rejected.
The company had filed a petition in the HC seeking directions to the BMC to consider the application for regularisation of the eight-storied structure after the civic authority had issued a demolition notice earlier in the year. Earlier, HC had directed the BMC to consider the application after granting a hearing to the company.
On June 23, after the BMC rejected the first plea for regularisation and even the HC upheld by passing a detailed order, the high court stayed the operation of the order to enable the firm to take further recourse.
On July 12, the company filed another petition, seeking directions from the BMC to consider its second application for regularisation, claiming it was as per the Development Plan 2034. Advocate Shardul Singh for the company had contended that the FSI beyond the permissible limit of a plot could be allowed if FSI of a larger plot of land was available and the use of additional FSI could be regularised on payment of premium to the state government and BMC. The bench sought to know whether there was anything in the statutes where the volume of illegality was not a consideration.
Singh had further submitted that the second application was different from the first one as the FSI of the entire plot had been factored in for regularisation and that they restricted themselves to apply for regularisation only in respect of land admeasuring 532.18 square meters.
The HC had, however, asked the BMC whether a second application was maintainable in light of the HC order upholding the rejection by BMC.
Senior advocate Anil Sakhare for the BMC had said that the second application was maintainable and the BMC was willing to consider it in the light of provisions of DCPR 2034.
HC has, however, disapproved the stand of the civic body and dismissed the second petition filed by Kallaa Real Estate.
In its order, while rejecting the petition of the company the court said that allowing BMC to consider a second application will encourage wholesale unauthorised construction, and imposed a cost of ₹10 lakh on the company. The court also directed that the amount be deposited with the Maharashtra Legal Services authority within two weeks.
The HC further declined a request of the company to maintain status quo for six weeks to enable it to approach the Supreme Court.