Bombay High Court
Bombay High Court

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Monday directed the Maharashtra government to demolish forthwith the illegal bungalows constructed along the coast in the Alibaug area of Raigad district.

The HC has also directed the Collector of Raigad, who was present in the court, to expedite the suits filed against 111 such bungalows, which are protected from demolition by a civil court.

A bench of Justices Satyranjan Dharmadhikari and Riyaz Chagla was dealing with a bunch of petitions highlighting the rampant illegal construction along the coast of Alibaug, which falls under the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ).

These bungalows are owned by several eminent and powerful persons. In the past hearings, the HC bench led by Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog had ordered demolition of all the 159 structures along the coast which were found to be illegally constructed.

However, several owners moved a civil court seeking protection from demolition. In an earlier hearing, government pleader Priyabhushan Kakade had informed the bench led by Justice Dharmadhikari that the collector’s office has demolished 24 such structures.

However, it could not touch 111 bungalows as all of them have secured protection from demolition. In the earlier hearing, Justice Dharmadhikari had summoned the collector while expressing his displeasure over the manner in which the entire matter was being pursued by the government.

The bench had then also sought to know from the government if it was dragging its feet over the issue only because the bungalows are owned by eminent and powerful persons.

During the course of that hearing, the bench had noted that though 111 structures enjoy protection, there were at least 24 other structures, which could not get any such protection.

On Monday, when the matter was called upon, the bench ordered the collector, who was present in the court room, to immediately demolish these 24 structures.

“The judges have asked us to demolish the structures which have no protection from a civil court. The bench has also asked us to expedite all the litigation (suits) filed against the 111 structures to remove the protection,” Kakade said. The bench has adjourned the matter for further hearing.

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