Bombay HC raps BMC over false claims of demolition
The Bombay high court (HC) recently rapped the civic body for falsely claiming it has demolished the unauthorised portions of a building in south Mumbai and misleading the court.
Warning civic officials that their “casual” attitude will not be tolerated, the HC has now directed the deputy municipal commissioner to be present in court on August 6.
A division bench of justices SC Dharmadhikari and SK Shinde was, on July 24, hearing a petition filed by a south Mumbai-based trust, which claimed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had not demolished the unauthorised second and third floors of Arab Bungalow in Babula Tank, despite an HC order in 2016. Taking cognisance of the current photographs of the illegal floors, submitted by the petitioner, the court noted, “Throughout an impression has been given to this court that the entire illegal construction has been demolished or brought down and what remains at site is an authorised construction… Far from this, we have been left with a feeling that this court is taken for a systematic ride.”
Observing that the “the matter is now between the municipal officials and the court”, the bench directed the deputy municipal commissioner to be present at the next hearing.
The BMC submitted the report of an inspection drive, undertaken by the executive engineer of the building and factory department of B ward, to the court. The report stated action will be initiated as per a 2012 notice and “flattening of the ladi coba slab has to be undertaken”. The report further stated action would be initiated against the temporary monsoon shed “by following due process of law”.
However, the court noted that “they [BMC] made false and misleading statements on previous occasions and this site inspection report means nothing to us.” Warning that the officials concerned will not be spared, the bench then said, “They [BMC officials] think that they can walk away with any statement being made before this court and even after [it] is proved to be false or untrue.”