Mumbai News

‘Illegal constructions’ in Navi Mumbai: Bombay HC asks petitioner to put responsible persons on notice – The Indian Express

Raising concerns over illegal constructions allegedly being carried out on a large scale in Navi Mumbai, Bombay High Court said Monday that generally the persons responsible for them are put on notice. It observed that the issue raised by a petitioner who filed a public interest litigation (PIL) alleging “floor space index (FSI) scam” in Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) was of “seminal importance”.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Madhav J Jamdar on September 26 heard the PIL by a law student, Kishor Shetty, claiming that more than 10,000 houses were constructed illegally on plots allotted by City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) in Airoli Turbhe and the Koparkhairane area.

As per the plea, Shetty sought an RTI reply on commencement certificates (CC) of the concerned plots and from the information he received, he learnt that the concerned plots allotted by the CIDCO had an FSI of 1, however, the majority of the people had not abided by it and undertaken illegal constructions by raising one or two slabs or floors ‘illegally.”

Shetty, who appeared in person before the court, said that despite the illegal constructions in the NMMC area being brought to the notice of respondent authorities, the same had gone unchecked. He also submitted photographs to support his plea showing the extent of illegal constructions.

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The court granted liberty to the petitioner to make the commissioner of NMMC along with its deputy municipal commissioner, who is authorised to look after and bring down illegal constructions, and the state urban development department as party respondents in the plea.

The bench noted: “We are of the prima facie view that if such photographs are to be believed, the Court may have to come down heavily on such large-scale illegal constructions as pointed out by the petitioner. However, no effective order can be passed on this petition unless the persons responsible for such illegal constructions are put on notice generally.”

The petitioner also submitted that there are hundreds of unauthorised constructions and it may not be possible for him to make all such persons responsible as party respondents in the PIL. The bench then granted him liberty to publish within a fortnight a notice in two daily newspapers, one in English and one in Marathi having wide circulation in the NMMC area, giving the gist of concerns expressed by him in the plea and the exact relief that is being sought for by him.