Senior Citizens Cannot Be Left To Suffer Due To Delayed Redevelopment: Bombay High Court

Senior Citizens Cannot Be Left To Suffer Due To Delayed Redevelopment: Bombay High Court

The court noted that the fundamental rights of senior citizens in respect of their entitlement to a shelter in their twilight years cannot be taken away.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Saturday, February 03, 2024, 12:45 AM IST
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Bombay High Court | File

Senior citizens cannot be made to irreparably suffer due to failed or delayed redevelopment of their society and they need to be protected, observed the Bombay High Court.

The court noted that the fundamental rights of senior citizens in respect of their entitlement to a shelter in their twilight years cannot be taken away.

The petition by Jayshree Dholi

The HC was hearing a petition filed by Jayshree Dholi, 64, who vacated her building in 2019 when it was undertaken for redevelopment. Dholi is a member of Navin Manju CHSL along with 21 other residents and 19 shop owners.

Dholi in her plea said Square One was unable to start the project due to financial troubles.

Her plea has sought that directions be issued to terminate agreement with Square One and appoint another developer to carry out the redevelopment. She sought the intervention of the court as her fundamental rights were being violated.

Dholi's plea

She claimed that at an old age she has been rendered homeless with no clarity on when her building would be redeveloped and she would be handed over her flat.

The bench said that prima facie it finds substance in the petitioner’s argument that senior citizens cannot be left to suffer at the last stage of their life due to delayed or impossible redevelopment.

“The court would not be powerless to issue appropriate directions to ensure that the fundamental rights guaranteed to senior citizens in respect of their entitlement of a shelter in their twilight years are not taken away under the garb of a failed or delayed redevelopment making them to irreparably suffer,” a division bench of Justices Girish Kulkarni and Firdosh Pooniwalla said on January 25, adding that “They need to be protected.”

The court has issued notices to the concerned parties including the Maharashtra government and the BMC. In October 2015, the society decided to appoint M/s Square One Realty for redevelopment of the dilapidated building and entered into agreement with it in 2016.

An agreement was signed with its proprietor Jignesh Gala in 2020 and all the members for providing alternate accommodation. A similar agreement was signed in 2023. Dholi’s plea states that they were paid transit rent from June 2019 to August 2021.

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