The Bombay high court (HC) has taken suo motu (on its own motion) cognisance of the building collapse at Bhiwandi on Tuesday, which had led to the loss of 40 lives, and initiated a public interest litigation (PIL), where all the seven civic bodies in and around Mumbai along with the Maharashtra government have been arraigned as respondents.
The state government and the seven civic bodies have been asked to respond regarding the steps taken to check illegal constructions and dilapidated buildings in their respective jurisdictions.
The next hearing of the PIL will be held on October 15 and state advocate-general (A-G) Ashutosh Kumbhakoni has also been asked to be present in the court on that day.
The two-member HC division bench, comprising Chief Justice (CJ) Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni, took up the Bhiwandi case suo motu while hearing a PIL about a dilapidated building in Kalyan.
The bench observed that the building collapse at Bhiwandi was alarming and the court was concerned about the loss of several human lives.
“I have been told that there are many dilapidated buildings in the jurisdiction of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the adjoining municipal corporations. We are initiating a suo motu PIL and arraigning municipal corporations, which include Thane, Kalyan Dombivali, Mira-Bhayandar, Navi Mumbai, Vasai Virar and Bhiwandi Nizampur Municipal corporations, as parties to the PIL,” said CJ Datta.
The CJ directed the civic bodies to submit reports on the measures they have taken regarding dilapidated and illegal structures in their respective jurisdictions on October 15 in the presence of A-G Kumbhakoni.