Mumbai court refuses to protect illegal Shiv Sena shakha
Mumbai city news: The shakha on Mahatma Gandhi Road in Mulund (West) started out as a temporary Ganesh pandal way back in 1998mumbai Updated: Jul 17, 2017 12:23 IST
The Bombay high court has refused to protect a Shiv Sena shakha that epitomises the way illegal structures come up in cities – a makeshift pandal morphs into a tin shed that slowly makes way for a brick-and-mortar permanent structure, despite repeated demolitions by the civic authorities .
This shakha on Mahatma Gandhi Road in Mulund (West) started out as a temporary Ganesh pandal way back in 1998 and was rebuilt a number of times after being demolished by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
“In my view there is no reason to grant the stay,” said Justice Gautam Patel. “To do so would be to continue the perpetuity and illegality,” the judge added while rejecting the plea.
According to the BMC, permission for a temporary Ganesh pandal was granted to the then Shakha Pramukh Dilip Dalvi in 1998. The mandap was converted into a tin shed after the Ganeshotsav. When the civic authorities sought to demolish the shed, the Shakha Pramukh obtained a temporary stay on the demolition. Eventually the stay was vacated and the shed was demolished in August 2009 on the high court’s orders. The Shakha was, however, re-constructed and was again demolished in December 2010.
The repeated action of the civic authorities failed to deter the Sainiks, who re-constructed the shakha yet again, barely a month after the second demolition. The civic body again arranged for removal of the illegal structure, but the action was postponed for want of police protection.
Shiv Sena office bearers then pulled down the shed themselves, only to build it once again . In March 2011, when the BMC again issued notice of demolition, Shrirang Narvankar, the then shakha pramukh approached the city civil court .He claimed that the Shakha was a census slum and was therefore entitled to protection from demolition.
Though initially, the lower court extended protection, in January 2015 it dismissed Narvankar’s suit, which prompted him to approach the high court.
The high court, however, refused to grant any interim relief. Noting the manner in which the structure was repeatedly demolished by the civic body and reconstructed by the Shiv Sainiks, Justice Gautam Patel refused to extend protection to it. “In my view there is no reason to grant the stay. To do so would be to continue the perpetuity and illegality,” the judge said while rejecting the plea.
“To gain protection, the Plaintiff (Narvankar) would have had to show some minimum level of authorisation for this structure,” the judge said, adding, “There being none such authorisation, no protection against demolition can be granted or continued.”