Mumbai: Vital info missing, time sought for judicial inquiry

The Bombay High Court bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni on Thursday adjourned the hearing till June 30 in a suo motu PIL pertaining to illegal constructions in the city and other districts across Maharashtra.

The bench deferred the hearing on request of Justice (retd.) J P Devdhar, who is holding an inquiry into the tragic mishap of building collapse in Malwani in Malad wherein 12 people including six children were killed.

When the matter was called out for hearing on Thursday, Chief Justice Datta, who had appointed Justice Devdhar to conduct a judicial probe into the incident on the last hearing, said that the judge had sought some extra time. “Justice Devdhar… said that the civic authorities are yet to furnish vital information he has asked for,” the Chief Justice said, adding, “He has sought time till June 28 to complete the enquiry. Thus, we are keeping the hearing on June 29.”

Senior counsel Sharan Jagtiani, who is assisting the court in the suo motu PIL, told the bench that he would submit his note on the legal point as to whether the BMC has any role to take action against such structures standing on the Collector’s land. Further, senior counsel Anil Sakhare for the BMC submitted the transcripts of the interview of Mayor Kishori Pednekar, who reportedly told a news channel that the BMC’s hands are tied (in taking action against illegal structures) because of the protective orders passed by courts. Notably, the bench led by Chief Justice Datta had taken exception to Mayor Pednekar’s comment and had observed that it doesn’t look good on her part to blame courts.

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