Mumbai High Court
Mumbai High Court

Mumbai: Bombay High Court on Tuesday pointed out several anomalies in the Maharashtra government’s policy regarding regularisation of illegal constructions across the state.

A Division Bench presided over by Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Anuja Prabhudesai heard a bunch of Public Interest Litigations (PILs) highlighting the issue of illegal construction in Maharashtra and especially in Navi Mumbai’s Digha village.

Earlier, Rohit Deo, the Advocate General (AG), had filed a copy of the government’s policy. The government had reportedly decided to regularise illegal constructions in Digha village. The policy also provided “immediate and stern” action against encroachers on government land.

When the matter was heard on Tuesday, the Bench pointed out several anomalies in the government’s policy. AG Deo could not defend it.

Justice Oka said, “We fail to understand why you (government) have framed this policy which provides regularisation of all illegally constructed structures. There is no mention as to whether structures constructed upon the government land will be regularised or not.”

“There are already several rules that provide regulation of illegal structures, there was no need of this policy,” Justice Oka remarked.

After perusing the government’s affidavit filed by the Secretary of Urban Development Department, the Bench said, “Your officer has stated that such structures can only be regularised after obtaining a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from a town planning authority. This means that if there is an illegal construction on government land, the same can be regularised by merely obtaining an NOC.”

Clarifying the government’s stand, AG Deo said, “The policy has been framed not only for regularisation purpose but for also some other issues. This would act like guidelines for planning authorities to take action against such constructions across the state.”

Not correct & unacceptable, says court

Bombay High Court was on Tuesday informed by a Court Receiver that while he was acting upon the court’s order and taking over the possession of illegal structures in Navi Mumbai’s Digha village, he had received a phone call from the secretary of a ‘guardian’ minister. After hearing the Court Receiver, Justice Oka said that it is “not correct and unacceptable” and posted the matter for further hearing on Wednesday.

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