Bombay HC says 100% consent for redevelopment of unsafe buildings not must

Bombay HC says 100% consent for redevelopment of unsafe buildings not must

The court also observed that consent of 51-70% of the occupants of the building, as applicable to the proposals made under Development Control and Promotion Regulation (DCPR)-2034, shall amount to sufficient compliance for processing development/ redevelopment proposal, for a commencement certificate (CC) to be issued.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Wednesday, March 22, 2023, 08:38 AM IST
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The Bombay High Court has declared that clause 1.15 of the 2018 Guidelines issued by the BMC for declaring private and municipal buildings as “C-1 category (dangerous or unsafe)” does not mandate obtaining consent/ agreement from all (100%) tenants/ occupants.

It further observed that consent of 51-70% of the occupants/ tenants of the building, as applicable to the proposals made under Development Control and Promotion Regulation (DCPR)-2034, shall amount to sufficient compliance for processing development/ redevelopment proposal, for a commencement certificate (CC) to be issued.

Raj & Jain Ahuja moved court after BMC refused to grant CC for redvpt of a building saying all occupants have not agreed to sign PAAA

A bench of Justices Girish Kulkarni and RN Laddha was hearing a petition by developers Raj Ahuja and Jain Ahuja, challenging clause 1.15. They had approached the court after the BMC refused to grant CC saying that they had not signed a permanent alternate accommodation agreement (PAAA) with all the tenants.

“In our clear opinion, it was arbitrary for the MCGM to insist from the petitioners (developers), consent of 100% of the tenants and in its absence withhold the CC…,” said the bench.

Developers contended that not always will 100% tenants will agree to redvpt

Challenging the constitutional validity of the clause, the developers contended that it may not be always conceivable that 100% tenants agree to redevelopment. Having such a pre-condition would create serious consequences, including the project being brought to a standstill by a minority/minuscule number of tenants or members of a co-operative society.

However, the BMC justified the guidelines, stating that it’s incumbent on the corporation to safeguard the interest of the tenants.

HC's observation in the matter

The judges emphasised, “It is a settled position in law that the interest of the minority occupants/tenants cannot be opposed to the interest of the majority occupants, as also such persons cannot foist on the owners a delay in commencement of the redevelopment work, resulting in the project cost being increased, which would be seriously prejudicial to the owners/developers and above all the majority of the occupants.”

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