Bombay HC restrains builder from further construction at illegal industrial estate near Bhiwandi
The petitioners alleged that the developer had brazenly carried out the construction work measuring 17.26 lakh square metresUpdated: Oct 16, 2020, 13:27 IST
The Bombay high court (HC) on Thursday restrained developer, M/s. Bhoomi World, who is accused of constructing an industrial estate on public property at Pimplas village near Bhiwandi without obtaining necessary permissions, from carrying out any further construction work at the site.
A two-member HC bench, comprising Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni, was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) jointly filed by two local residents -- Sudhakar Chaudhari and Satish Mene -- seeking demolition of the industrial estate developed by Bhoomi World over about 80 acres of public land, without any permission from the competent authority.
In the PIL filed through advocate Amit Gharte, the petitioners have alleged that most of these land belong to the Maharashtra government and other public bodies such as the local village panchayat, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)
The petitioners alleged that the developer had brazenly carried out the construction work measuring 17.26 lakh square (sq) metres (m).
Advocate Gharte pointed out on Thursday that the construction was liable to be demolished, as it was carried out without requisite permissions and necessary approvals.
Senior advocate Prasad Dhakephalkar, who represented the developer, responded to the PIL and said they have deposited an amount of over Rs 1.5 crore with the office of the district collector for getting the land use converted into non-agriculture purposes.
He stated that the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) had, in principle, agreed to the construction work because about 1,000 industrial units, occupying area of about 300 sq m each, are operating out of the premises and about 35,000 workers are employed in these units.
Dhakephalkar answered in the negative about a specific query from the court, as to whether the construction was done in accordance with a sanctioned building plan and whether an occupation certificate was issued by the competent authority for carrying out the construction work.
The senior advocate said the lapse had occurred during the transitory stage because there was no MMRDA office at Thane, although a special planning authority for the area was appointed at a later date.
However, the judges were annoyed with the excuse. “This has become a routine now,” said the bench. “Builders indulge in illegal construction work, take all steps to prolong the due process of law and eventually seek regularisation. We cannot allow this to go on,” it added.
The bench said it had a limited question before it: whether the construction was made in accordance with the law.
“We will have to follow the order of the Supreme Court (SC), as it had laid down in MIND Builders case regarding illegal construction,” the judges said.
The bench has directed the MMRDA to file an affidavit within two weeks and posted the PIL for further hearing following its submission.