The Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed two housingsocieties – Shubhada and Sukhada, where several politicians and bureaucratsreside, Maharashtra government and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)to reply to a public interest litigation (PIL) alleging corruption inpermissions granted to the buildings.
A division bench of Justices Anoop Mohta and M S Sonak hasasked all the respondents to file their replies within four weeks. The HC was hearing a PIL filed by RTI activist Amit Maru allegingthat several rules were flouted while granting permission to the multi-storeyShubhada and Sukhada buildings in Worli. Abha Singh, Maru's advocate, argued that the corporation hadillegally allotted additional land to the societies which was originally reservedfor a garden to the two societies. "After the transfer, the societies were alsogranted additional FSI," argued Singh.
The petition further claimed that since the plot reservedfor the garden falls under Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ), requisite permissionought to have been taken from the union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF)or the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) before transfer. According to the PIL, land belonging to the corporation canbe alienated only when there is a resolution passed by the full house ofMunicipal Corporation as per the stipulations set in section 92 of the MumbaiMunicipal Corporation Act, 1888. In this case, no such
resolution was passed. Maru has stated that despite him bringing this violation to thenotice of the authorities concerned, no one has taken any action. Hence hefiled the PIL. The PIL has sought for a committee to be set up to probeinto the irregularities and for action to be initiated against errantofficials. It also prays that the garden, which is owned by the corporation,be returned to the civic body. "Since Shubhada Co-operative Housing Society does not havefull Occupancy Certificate, hence the Municipal Corporation be restrained fromissuing any Occupancy Certificate till the time this Petition is disposed of,"adds the PIL.