'Survey, Take Action On Illegal Constructions': Bombay High Court To NMMC

'Survey, Take Action On Illegal Constructions': Bombay High Court To NMMC

The bench has also asked the NMMC to collect information on the number of illegal / irregular constructions built after December 31, 2015

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Saturday, February 03, 2024, 09:47 PM IST
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Bombay High Court | File

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has directed Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) to survey its city limits to ascertain the number of illegal constructions and take necessary actions under the law.

“The NMMC shall undertake a thorough survey… in respect of how many such illegal / irregular constructions the occupiers / owners have taken recourse to the remedy under Section 52A of the MRTP Act,” a division bench of Chief Justice DK Upadhyaya and Justice Arif Doctor said.

Section 52A of the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act (MRTP) empowers the state government to formulate a scheme by specifying terms and conditions for compounding the irregular / illegal constructions. However, the said provision is applicable only in respect of the unauthorised constructions which were carried out on or before 31st December 2015.

The bench has also asked the NMMC to collect information on the number of illegal / irregular constructions built after December 31, 2015.

The bench said that the NMMC shall undertake “appropriate legal action which may be permissible under law” against such illegal / irregular constructions.

It also asked the civic body to take appropriate action against those constructions / structures where commencement certificate/s or occupation certificate/s have not been issued.

PIL demands action against ward officers

The HC was hearing a public interest litigation by Kishor Shetty raising concern about the illegal constructions already existing or being raised currently in NMMC and sought that appropriate action be taken against them. He also urged the court to fix the responsibility of the ward officer concerned for permitting such illegal constructions.

NMMC counsel Anil Anturkar submitted that the problems posed by the illegal constructions were not only faced by the civic body but also by the poor occupants of the tenements that are constructed, generally at the behest of the builders / contractors. He also pointed out that owners / occupiers of those alleged illegal constructions were not added as respondents.

However, the bench said that pursuant to its earlier order in September 2022, the petitioner had put up public notices in two newspapers mentioning the gist of concern expressed in the PIL petition and the exact relief that is being sought by him. Hence, the petitioner “need not implead any such occupier / owner as party respondent”.

The HC has kept the PIL for hearing on April 3 when the NMMC has been asked to submit the survey report.

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