Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Demolish illegal portions of Union Minister Narayan Rane’s residence within 2 weeks: Bombay High Court to BMC

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The Bombay High Court on Tuesday quashed the second regularisation application filed by Union Minister Narayan Rane regarding his Mumbai bungalow and gave the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) two-weeks time to demolish the illegal portions of the same.

The Bench of Justice R.D. Dhanuka and Justice Kamal Khata refused to direct BMC on considering the regularisation of 300 per cent additional construction, done illegally by Rane at his Juhu residence.

The High Court further imposed costs of Rs 10 lakh on petitioner-company Kaalkaa Real Estates Pvt Ltd, owned by Rane’s family, to be deposited with the Maharashtra State Legal Services Authority (MALSA).

The Bench observed that BMC could not be allowed to take steps inconsistent in stand with the Supreme Court judgements and provisions of the statutes.

It said if the application for retention was allowed irrespective, it would lead to encouragement of wholesale construction overreaching the idea for allowing retention.

Taking in consideration the fact that the petitioners have constructed three times above the permissible limit, the application for proposed retention would amount to encouragement of large scale violation within the city of Mumbai without any concern for the statutory provisions, noted the High Court.

Kaalka Real Estates had filed a fresh regularisation application before BMC under Section 342 of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act (MMC) Act, which stipulates notifying the Commissioner for making any alteration or addition to an existing building.

The company had earlier been issued notice by BMC in March, directing it to remove the alleged unauthorised work on the premises within 15 days, failing which the corporation said it would demolish the portions and recover the charges from the owners/occupiers.

The company challenged the notice before the High Court, which directed BMC to stay demolition till June 24, until the civic body heard Rane’s regularisation application pending before it.

BMC rejected the regularisation application on June 3, which was challenged by Rane in the High Court.

The High Court rejected this petition on June 23. This led the Union Minister to file a second application under Section 44 of the Maharashtra Region and Town Planning (MRTP) Act.

While hearing the second application, the High Court asked whether it was maintainable in the first place.

Replying to the query, BMC said that the company owned by Rane’s family could file a second application for regularisation, which would be considered by the civic body, in accordance with the provisions of existing acts and regulations.

The High Court then noted that the earlier regularisation application had been rejected by BMC on merits and the same was upheld by the High Court also.

The Bench then ruled that a second regularisation application could not be considered.

On May 24 this year, the District Level Coastal Management Committee had also issued a showcause notice to Rane’s bungalow in Juhu for alleged violation of the Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) norms.

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