Bombay HC seeks BMC's response on Narayan Rane firm’s renewed application for Juhu bungalow regularisation

On June 23, the HC had rejected Kaalkaa’s petition challenging BMC's notice for the demolition of unauthorised structures in its bungalow observing that the same was “devoid of merits”.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Tuesday, July 19, 2022, 07:37 PM IST
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Union Minister Narayan Rane | Photo: PTI

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday asked Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to explain whether it can entertain a second application for regularisation of unauthorised structures after it has already rejected a similar application earlier.

A division bench of Justices RD Dhanuka and Kamal Khata asked the BMC to explain while hearing a petition filed by Kaalkaa Real Estate Private Limited, a company owned by Union Minister Narayan Rane.

The petition has sought direction from the BMC to consider its fresh application seeking retention of the alleged unauthorised structures in its Aadish Bungalow in suburban Juhu belonging to Rane.

On June 23, the HC had rejected Kaalkaa’s petition challenging BMC's notice for the demolition of unauthorised structures in its bungalow observing that the same was “devoid of merits”.

The HC had asked Rane to file an application before the BMC seeking regularisation of its unauthorised structures, accordingly, Rane had approached the civic body seeking regularisation of its unauthorised structures. However, on June 3, the BMC rejected the application for retention of the said unauthorised structures.

On July 11, Kaalkaa’s architecture had filed a fresh application.

However, it was informed that in view of the high court order of June 23, it requires an order from the HC to consider the fresh application.

Kaalkaa hence filed the petition in HC seeking direction to the BMC to hear its second application under the Municipal Corporation Act. The plea stated that non-consideration of the new application would be a “blatant violation of the fundamental rights of the petitioner and the residents of the premises”.

It further claims that there is no bar on filing fresh applications after the rejection of the first application for retention of structures.

“The new application takes into consideration additional provisions of the Development Control Plan and Regulations (DCPR) 2034 and also calculations which did not form part of the first application,” read the plea.

“However, as a matter of law, it is not open for the respondents (BMC) to “not decide”, “ignore” or “sit” on the application filed,” the plea further read.

Asking BMC to hear its application, it has been urged in the plea that the BMC be restrained from taking any coercive actions pursuant to notices and demolition orders.

During the hearing on Tuesday, the court questioned the counsels for Kaalkaa, Shardul Singh, Anil Sakhare, and the BMC whether the second application was maintainable when the first application, seeking similar relief, was rejected by the corporation.

Singh had argued that as per the new DCPR 2034, it was willing to rehabilitate Project Affected Persons (PAPs) for regularisation of the structure.

On the maintainability question, Singh sought some time from the court. Sakhare too said that they will have to check whether the second application is maintainable or not.

The HC has kept the matter for hearing on July 25 to first decide whether the second application would be maintainable.

“The court has also directed the Corporation (BMC) to address the court on the next date if a second application seeking regularisation can be entertained If the first application is rejected by the authorities and this court by the order dated June 23, 2022,” said the court in its order.

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