Bombay High Court Orders Demolition Of Illegal Structures Near DRDO Lab in Pune, Imposes ₹1 Lakh Fine On Petitioners For Suppressing Facts

Bombay High Court Orders Demolition Of Illegal Structures Near DRDO Lab in Pune, Imposes ₹1 Lakh Fine On Petitioners For Suppressing Facts

Advocate Abhijit Kulkarni, appearing for the PMC pointed out to the court that the petitioners had obtained the stay order without giving proper details.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Tuesday, February 27, 2024, 05:54 PM IST
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Bombay High Court | File Image

Observing that it will “not compromise” on the interest of the country and the defence, for the interest of private developers, the Bombay High Court has directed the demolition of illegal structures in the vicinity of a laboratory run by the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) in Pune.

The high court has also imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh each on six petitioners noting that they had suppressed facts from the court and hence are not entitled to any reliefs.

“We make it clear that under no circumstances will we compromise the interest of the Union of India and the Ministry of Defence for the interest of private builders,” a division bench of Justices Gautam Patel and Kamal Khata on February 23.

Six persons had approached the court challenging the demolition notices issued by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) as their structures were built within 500 yards of the High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) in Pune.

Following an urgent mention by the petitioners, the court, on February 8, had granted interim stay on the demolition notices. The petitioners had claimed that the civic body was to demolish their structures on February 12.

Advocate Abhijit Kulkarni, appearing for the PMC pointed out to the court that the petitioners had obtained the stay order without giving proper details. Kulkarni submitted that the petitioners suppressed the facts that demolition was carried out on November 30, 2023 and that the demolished constructions had been put up again. What was to be removed by February 12, 2024 was the renewed illegal construction.

Kulkarni also pointed out that under the Unified Development Control and Promotion Regulations, 2020, no construction can be undertaken within a prohibited distance of 500 yards from the crest of the outer parapet of the HEMRL. This provision of the UDCPR is not under challenge and cannot be challenged.

Also, the defence authorities have been complaining for a long time that these constructions are within 500 yards of the HEMRL. “The complaints from the Ministry of Defence go back to 2021. Show Cause Notices have been issued,” the bench noted in its order.

Irked, the bench vacated its earlier stay on demolition notices and dismissed the petitions.

The court also imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on each petitioner, which has to be paid towards any charitable purpose as directed by the PMC commissioner.

The court has directed demolition of the illegal structures forthwith.

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