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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Bombay High Court Orders Demolition of Union Minister Narayan Rane’s Bungalow 

The Court Imposed a Fine of Rs 10 lakh Cost Payable Within 2 Weeks on Rane’s Company

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Raju Vernekar
Raju Vernekar
Raju Vermekar is a senior Mumbai-based journalist who have worked with many daily newspapers. Raju contributes on versatile topics.

INDIA. Mumbai: A bench comprising Justices RD Dhanuka and Kamal Khata at the Bombay High Court ordered Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to demolish Union Minister Narayan Rane’s Bungalow within 2 weeks.

The illegal portions of a bungalow belonging to the company owned by the family of Union minister Narayan Rane, on Tuesday.

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The bench also imposed a fine of Rs 10 lakh on the company and asked it to deposit the money with the Maharashtra State Legal Services Authority (MALSA) and dismissed the petition seeking directions to BMC to consider the second regularisation application. 

Rane’s eight-story bungalow “Adhish” is located at Juhu in North West Mumbai which has been in the news following unauthorised constructions made in the bungalow for the past few months.

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The charges against the bungalow included, illegal CRZ clearance to build the bungalow abutting the Juhu Chowpatty, illegal construction of a basement in CRZ-II, not keeping the compulsory open space on the plot, violation of Floor Space Index (FSI), and the height of the bungalow raised to 32 meters (permissible limit 11 mtrs).

As per the property card, Rane had ownership of over 1187 square meters of land. He had sought approval for construction on an area of over 700 square metres. However, he carried out the construction on over 2209 square metres.

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“Kaalkaa Real Estates Pvt Ltd”, the company owned by Rane’s family had sought directions from the BMC to consider the new application seeking regularisation of the bungalow.

The company also claimed that the additional construction can be regulated with additional FSI and TDR. It filed the fresh regularisation application before BMC under Section 342 of the MMC Act which stipulates notifying the Commissioner for making any alteration or addition to an existing building.

BMC issued a notice to “Kaalkaa” in March this year, directing it to remove the alleged unauthorised work on the premises within 15 days failing which the corporation will demolish those portions and recover the charges from the owners/ occupiers.

However “Kaalkaa” challenged the notice in the High Court according to which the Court had protected the structure from demolition till June 24, until the regularisation application by Rane was heard by BMC.

Subsequently, the BMC rejected the regularisation application. Since the protection granted by the High Court was expiring soon, Rane moved High Court seeking urgent relief.

On June 23, the High Court rejected Rane’s petition challenging the rejection order. Under this, Rane filed a second application before BMC and moved High Court for directions.

When the plea about the second application came up for hearing, the Court queried whether a second such application under the Mumbai Municipal Corporation (MMC) Act would be maintainable in the first place.

On Tuesday, the BMC responded that “Kaalkaa” could file a second application for regularisation for consideration by the BMC by the provisions of existing acts and regulations.

The Bench, however, was not pleased with the stand as the earlier regularisation application was not only rejected by BMC on merits but its decision was also upheld by the High Court in a detailed order.

The Bench on Tuesday held that such a second regularisation application cannot be considered since it would set a trend of regularising unauthorised constructions bypassing rules.

The Bench stated, “If the application made by the petitioners for retention/regularisation is allowed to be considered by the corporation, who is bent upon considering and allowing such application irrespective of the extent of violation of provisions of law committed by the petitioners, any such order passed by this court would amount to the encouragement of the wholesale unauthorised construction carried out in flagrant violation of the statutes and would overreach the earlier order of this court.

“The proposed retention/ regularisation of unauthorised work, if accepted, will amount to the encouragement of the widespread/large-scale violation of provisions of law and invite wrongdoers to carry out any extent of unauthorised construction in the city of Mumbai without any fear of penal action,” the Bench emphasised.

Advocate Shardul Singh for the petitioner sought a 6-week stay on the demolition to approach the Supreme Court. However, the Bench refused the prayer.

Also Read: Bombay High Court Orders the Auction Sale of an Ocean Going Vessel

Author

  • Raju Vernekar

    Raju Vermekar is a senior Mumbai-based journalist who have worked with many daily newspapers. Raju contributes on versatile topics.

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