Bombay HC Directs Officials To Conduct Survey Of Plots Reserved For Burial Grounds In Thane

Bombay HC Directs Officials To Conduct Survey Of Plots Reserved For Burial Grounds In Thane

The court has directed the taluka inspector to survey whether there is any encroachment on the land as alleged by the petitioner.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Tuesday, December 05, 2023, 11:10 AM IST
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Bombay HC | PTI

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has directed the taluka inspector of the land records to conduct a survey of the plot of land reserved for cremation ground/ burial ground/ smasha bhumi in neighbouring Thane district and submit a report.

The direction was passed by a division bench of Chief Justice DK Upadhyaya and Justice Arif Doctor while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) by Thane-resident Melwyn Fernandes alleging that the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) has handed over a plot of land meant for burial ground for Christian community to M/s Balaji Enterprises, promoter of project Vihang Marina of the Vihang Group of Companies, to construct a luxury housing project.

The court has directed the taluka inspector to survey whether there is any encroachment on the land as alleged by the petitioner. Also, the taluka inspector has been asked to check whether the private builder has undertaken any construction on the plot. However, the court has clarified that the petitioner will bear the cost for the survey.

Bombay HC's Direction In July

In July, the HC had directed that 19 plots, which are designated for cremation ground/ burial ground/ smasha bhumi in the development plan, will not be used for any purpose other than the one designated in the development plan. The court had also said that in case these plots are used for any other purpose, then the municipal corporation is directed to take necessary action.

The TMC had refuted the allegations saying that 19 plots were reserved for burial grounds in Thane district. However, the civic body’s affidavit filed earlier stated that some of these plots can not be used as burial grounds for various reasons. One of the plots is in the Special Economic Zone, three plots are partly in the Coastal Regulation Zone, three plots are encroached by slum dwellers and one plot is in possession of the Thane Gramin Police. Among a few others, there exists Muslim burial ground, Christian burial ground and Hindu crematorium, plus work is on for building a Christian burial ground on one other plot. The HC has kept the matter for hearing after two weeks.

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