The Bombay High Court has refused to pass any urgent orders on a petition seeking to include the Special Backward Class (SBC) as a reserved category in the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development (MHADA) lottery for housing allotments.
A division bench of Justices Gautam Patel and Neela Gokhale, on August 11, refused to pass any orders granting urgent interim relief on the plea, noting that there was no urgency.
The HC was hearing a petition filed by one Deepak Shirvale seeking stay on the declaration of the lottery on Monday pending hearing in his petition. Alternatively, he sought for the SBC to be included in the reserved category.
MHADA's Stand and Opposition
MHADA's advocate Uday Warunjikar opposed the plea saying that the housing body has the power to frame rules and regulations. He said there are 11 reserved categories at present and the SBC category is not one of them.
The judges, while refusing urgent relief, noted that the petitioner had not challenged the MHADA rules.
"We do not know how we can require the insertion of a special reserved category in an advertisement that otherwise follows the rules framed by MHADA absent a challenge to the vires of the Rule itself," the court said.it added: “The petitioner will have to establish that there is a right to the inclusion of that category in the Rules and this will have to be answered on merits.”
The high court has asked the petitioner to delete the names of the chief minister and the housing minister as party respondents in the plea, noting they are unnecessarily joined. The court also granted liberty to file an application challenging the MHADA rule.