Bombay High Court
Bombay High Court

Mumbai: In what can spell trouble for thousands of slum dwellers in the city, the Bombay High Court has ordered the newly formed government not to tolerate and spare any unauthorised tenant in the redeveloped buildings constructed by the Slum Redevelopment Authority (SRA) under a welfare scheme.

A bench of Justices Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari and Riyaz Chagla has clearly said despite a change in the political dispensation, the rules stand and no unauthorised tenant can be regularised.

The issue pertains to those 'eligible' slum dwellers, who have been given flats in the redeveloped buildings of the SRA, free of cost. As per the SRA rules, these slum dwellers cannot transfer (sell) these flats or create any third party rights for at least 10 years.

However, this rule was flagrantly abused by thousands of such eligible slum dwellers, who have either sold or created third party rights in the flats allotted to them free of cost by the SRA.

Irked over this, Justice Dharmadhikari, said, “We hope and trust that there will be no tolerance of the transgressions committed by the slum dwellers to whom allotment of permanent, alternate accommodation has been made under a welfare scheme.”

“The so-called homeless poor persons could not have transferred the permanent alternate accommodation, particularly after they projected themselves as slum dwellers.

They have inducted third parties or have transferred the premises otherwise by completely flouting the terms and conditions which had been accepted by them,” Justice Dharmadhikari noted.

The bench accordingly said that the new Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) led government cannot allow such unauthorised tenants.

“We are of the view that merely because a political dispensation other than the previous one has assumed power, nothing will be done so as to either regularise the illegal and unauthorised occupants,’’ Justice Dharmadhikari clarified.

According to the data provided by the SRA, till 2017 as many as 12,460 tenements were found to be in possession of persons who are not eligible slum dwellers.

In 2017 itself, the SRA had claimed that out of 12,460 tenements, 10,370 cases were referred for eviction in accordance with the law. It further claimed out of the 10,370 cases, the eviction orders have been passed in 2,249 cases and 2,375 cases are under process before the Competent Authorities.

At that time, the HC had termed the entire data as 'vague' and had sought a fresh action taken report. It had ordered the housing department to take action against the unauthorised tenants and evict them and hand over these flats for accommodation of project affected persons (PAPs).

The bench led by Justice Dharmadhikari was hearing a bunch of petitions filed through advocate Priscilla Samuel, highlighting the rampant violation of norms by these eligible slum dwellers.

The bench has now ordered the authorities to file a fresh action taken report, in respect of the data tendered in 2017.

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