Observing that it won't render anyone homeless during the pandemic, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday refused to allow the Pimpri-Chinchwad corporation to demolish illegal structures on a river near Pune. The HC further ordered all municipal corporations in Maharashtra and Goa not to carry out any demolition or eviction proceedings till October 31.
A full bench headed by Chief Justice Dipankar Datta noted that the situation in the state continued to be "grim" owing to the pandemic.
The bench even comprising of Justices Amjad Sayed, Sambhaji Shinde and Kamalkishor Tated extended its orders staying all demolition and eviction proceedings across Maharashtra and Goa till October 31.
The bench was moved by Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) seeking permission to carryout demolition work against the illegal structures near a river in its jurisdiction.
The counsel appearing for PCMC told the bench that the National Green Tribunal (NGT), western bench, had ordered the civic body to demolish there structures.
The bench, however, sought to know if the civic body apprised the NGT of its orders, which initially were issued in March, staying all proceedings for demolition or eviction. The judges further asked if the civic body has informed the tenants of the structures, which are to be razed.
After getting a negative response, CJ Datta said, "Let us be very clear on this. We are not going to render anyone homeless, especially during the pandemic."
The judges further noted the rising cases of Covid19 in the state. "The situation in Maharashtra, because of the pandemic, continues to be grim. Normal functioning of the courts is yet to be restored," the bench said in its order.
"Thus, a litigant (public) may not suffer for no fault on their part. In such view of the matter, we consider it just and appropriate to extend the interim order (staying demolition and eviction) till October 31, 2020," CJ Datta ordered.