HC rebukes SRA, cop for buildings on road
The slum rehabilitation authority (SRA) and senior police inspector (Sr PI) of Santacruz police station got an earful from the Bombay high court on Friday for allegedly failing to comply with its earlier orders in a slum rehabilitation scheme coming up at Daulat Nagar, Santacruz (West).mumbai Updated: Jan 08, 2011 02:22 IST
The slum rehabilitation authority (SRA) and senior police inspector (Sr PI) of Santacruz police station got an earful from the Bombay high court on Friday for allegedly failing to comply with its earlier orders in a slum rehabilitation scheme coming up at Daulat Nagar, Santacruz (West).
Threatening to issue suo motu contempt notice against the police inspector and the SRA, justice RY Ganoo told the developer, “Do you want this police officer to be put behind bars because of your conduct? I can also issue suo motu contempt notice against the SRA.”
The SRA had cleared a slum rehabilitation scheme in 1999, which has been under litigation ever since locals (The Relief Road Housing Societies Association) challenged the scheme in the high court.
On Friday, the court was hearing the contempt petition filed by their lawyers LC Chogle and Pooja Thorat.
Although the high court had not stayed the construction, it had said the fate of the scheme would be subject to the final outcome of the petition.
The high court had, however, made it clear in its order in 2001 that the adjacent 100-metre road should be left open as per the development plan.
The 2001 order stated, “If the court sees that the areas cleared of encroachments have been used again by encroachers, the officer of the police station under whose jurisdiction the area falls, shall be held responsible.”
However, the developers — Pioneer India Developers and HDIL — constructed five transit buildings on the road to temporarily house slum dwellers, who will be relocated once the SRA buildings are completed.
Justice Ganoo said, “Structures on this land should be removed. If the court’s order is not followed then respondents should be ready to accept contempt action.”
Praveen Samdani, counsel for the developers, argued that the road was part of the large integrated scheme and sought time to file the affidavit.
And, the developers contended, the SRA had permitted them to construct the transit buildings on the road. Additional government pleader, GW Mattos, agreed that the SRA had permitted them to construct transit camps under the rules.
“You have to remove the structures from the 100 ft DP Road as the construction is against the 2001 order. SRA had no authority to allow anybody to construct here,” justice Ganoo remarked.
He added, “I am going to observe that this construction could not be permitted. This is contempt by the police officer.”
The high court will pass the order in the contempt petition on January 10, 2011.