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MMRCL cannot demolish any structure for the construction of its projects, Bombay High Court

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Mumbai: In an embarrassment for the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL), the Bombay High court on Monday held that it does not have powers akin to a planning authority. The HC accordingly ruled that the MMRCL cannot demolish any structure for the construction of its projects.

A division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Riyaz Chagla stayed the demolition notice issued by the MMRCL to nine shop owners near Vakola, Santacruz. These shop owners had moved the court, challenging the demolition notice served on them by the MMRCL. The premises of the shop owners has been acquired for the Metro III line. The shop owners, who claim to have no issue with the Metro III project, have challenged the demolition notice since the authorities have decided to rehabilitate them somewhere in Kanjurmarg and Bhiwandi. They argued that the MMRCL has been ‘discriminatory’ in rehabilitating them and accordingly sought an alternative rehabilitation in Chakala, Andheri.

Having heard the matter on point of interim relief, Justice Oka said, “We have perused the petition. Prima facie we are of the view that the MMRCL is not a planning authority and neither does it have any powers like a planning authority. We are of the considered opinion that the MMRCL cannot demolish structures like a planning authority.” Justice Oka accordingly stayed the demolition notices served upon the shop owners until June 23, the day when the matter would be heard finally.