Bombay High Court irked over lack of proper legal response from MCGM

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today expressed unhappiness over not getting proper reponse from lawyers of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) while hearing petitions, though the civic body was spending crores of rupees on its legal department.

“The corporation is spending crores of public exchequer’s money on its legal department but we are not getting proper assistance when we hear matters,” a division bench of Justices B R Gavai and M S Karnik said, while asking the civic body to pull its socks up.

The remarks were made when the bench was hearing a public interest litigation filed by former sheriff of Mumbai, Kiran Shantaram, seeking widening of Raj Kamal road at Parel in central Mumbai.

The civic body’s lawyer, Geeta Joglekar, today sought time to file their pleadings and affidavits in the matter and said a senior counsel would be appearing for the corporation.

Irked with this, the court said, “We are giving you one week by way of last chance to file your affidavits and pleadings. If by a week this is not done, then ask the civic body commissioner to appear before us.”

“The corporation needs to improve its system. This is totally unjust. The corporation spends over Rs 120 crore on its legal department and this is the kind of legal assistance we get,” Justice Gavai said.

Shantaram, in his petition, urged that the road o be widened from its original 20 feet to 40 feet, to cater to the needs of the area’s increasing population.

Shantaram’s lawyer today informed the court that while the road has been widened, the corporation stopped work midway. It had ad not cleared the debris on either side of the road and not repaired it.

The court posted the petition for futher hearing after a week.

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