'Only 19 Structures At Air India Colony To Be Razed': Adani-Controlled Mumbai Airport Authority Tells Bombay High Court As Residents Seek Legal Relief

'Only 19 Structures At Air India Colony To Be Razed': Adani-Controlled Mumbai Airport Authority Tells Bombay High Court As Residents Seek Legal Relief

MIAL was responding to a petition filed by approximately 310 families who are still residing in the colony.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Friday, February 02, 2024, 09:37 PM IST
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Mumbai International Airport Ltd |

The Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) has informed the Bombay High Court that it plans to demolish only 19 unoccupied buildings of the total 105 structures in the Air India Colony in suburban Kalina.

MIAL was responding to a petition filed by approximately 310 families who are still residing in the colony.

The residents had approached the high court, through advocates Ashok Shetty and Rita Joshi, after they failed to get relief from sessions court at Dindoshi against the demolition undertaken by MIAL on January 25.

Shetty argued that they have been occupying the premises based on a leave and license agreement with Air India. He argued that the city civil court’s order lacked proper reasoning and neglected key aspects of ownership, specifically noting the role of AI Asset Holdings Ltd as a government-controlled entity.

Also, the matter was pending before the Supreme Court and listed for hearing on February 13, Shetty added.

MIAL’s counsel Vikram Nankani submitted that the residents were to vacate by July 2022. However, the bench led by then Chief Justice Dipankar Datta (now a Supreme Court judge) had extended the time to vacate till September 2022. Hence, they cannot claim that the demolition has come as a surprise.

Nankani, however, assured the bench of Justice RN Laddha that they will not undertake demolition till the time the matter is pending before the Estate Officer. He also assured the court that they will not disrupt the gas, electricity and water supply till the time the decision is taken by the Estate Officer. He said that they do not want any harm to property or person.

The counsel argued that the land and building structures were leased and transferred to MIAL following Air India’s disinvestment in 2023. The demolition was stated to be part of infrastructure expansion around Mumbai International Airport.

MIAL further referenced a decision by the Air India Specific Alternate Mechanism comprising Union ministers, which permitted employees to occupy housing premises for six months post-disinvestment, after which they were required to vacate or face damages. MIAL noted that several employees had agreed to comply with this directive.

Additionally, MIAL highlighted the disposal of a writ petition against the disinvestment by the Bombay High Court, which upheld non-interference in such policy matters. Criticising the staff association for approaching the high court prematurely, MIAL emphasised the need for adherence to legal processes.

Justice RN Laddha has asked both the parties to submit their written arguments and kept the matter for order on February 5.

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