Bombay HC stays demolition of flower shops at Dadar

The court has also restrained the petitioners from carrying out any "construction or alteration of any nature, whatsoever, without the prior sanction of the Municipal Corporation."

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Monday, November 14, 2022, 08:46 PM IST
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People crowd at Dadar flower market | (Photo by Sujit Jaiswal / AFP)

Mumbai: In a relief for several flower vendors at the Dadar flower market, the Bombay High Court has restrained the BMC from carrying out any further demolition and directed it not to disturb the commercial operations of flower vendors.

A division bench of Justices RD Dhanuka and Kamal Khata on Friday stayed the demolition process undertaken observing, “The Municipal Corporation shall not carry out any further demolition of the offending structure.” The court has also restrained the petitioners from carrying out any “construction, alteration of any nature, whatsoever without prior sanction of the Municipal Corporation”.

The court has specified that it will decide on the next date, “whether the Municipal Corporation was entitled to initiate action of demolition and if so, under which provisions of law and whether any law was required to be followed for carrying out such demolition or not”.

The HC was hearing two separate petitions

The HC was hearing two separate petitions filed by flower vendors, Rajesh Vartak and Mahendra Salunkhe, through their advocates Pradeep Thorat and Arjun Kadam respectively, challenging the BMC action.

Mr Kadam said that these shops are registered under law and have been operating for over 50 years. The BMC without any prior notice entered the flower market and started demolition. It also tried to restrain the flower vendors from operating the market by placing vehicles and other obstructions.

He further argued that the BMC can't forcefully possess the premises on the assumption that shop licences were expired or cancelled. It was also pointed out that the vendors had to operate their business in open areas following the civic body's demolition.

The premises are owned by one Vijaysingh Upendrasingh Khasgiwale who rented it to Yeshwant Jeevan Patil on the pagdi system. The possession of the same was transferred to the petitioners in 1990 by Mr Patil.

BMC issues them a show cause notice

The BMC issued them a show cause notice in December 2016. Despite the replies of the petitioners, their licences were revoked in January 2017. Subsequently, they filed an application for restoration of licences in July 2017. The decision on the same is yet to be taken.

BMC counsels, Pooja Yadav and Sunil Sonawane, contended that the civic body had initiated action based on a complaint received from the Upendra Nagar Cooperative Society. The Corporation has sought time to file a reply to the petition.

HC directs BMC to remove vehicles parked

Directing the civic body to remove the vehicles obstructing the path, the HC said, “The Municipal Corporation is directed to remove vehicles parked in impugned writ premises within 48 hours from today without fail.”

In addition, it also asked the petitioners to ensure that no encroachment takes place in and around their shops. “The petitioners are directed not to allow any encroachment in or around the writ property till further orders,” said the judges.

Directing the BMC to file its reply in two weeks, the HC asked it to provide a copy of the complaint to the petitioners. The HC has kept the petition for further hearing on Dec 5.

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