The Bombay high court has taken up the issue of old tenants unwilling to vacate their houses, which are being evicted by builders/developers using illegal ways, so that they are able to develop the property.
A division bench of Justice VM Kanade and Justice AK Menon said: "We are witnessing that old buildings are systematically being taken over by builders and tenants are harassed."
To address this issue, the court directed the Mumbai police commissioner and the state government to be made parties to a petition filed by a resident of Nepean Sea Road, M Merchant. Merchant has alleged connivance of developers with Mhada officials stating that their intention is to declare Ram Mansion, the three-storey structure he lives in, as dilapidated.
The bench also said: "We are not amused that such things are happening increasingly; a situation is created such that tenants are made to leave. We want to do something about this."
The court thus adjourned the petition by a week and allowed the petitioners to amend their plea.
Rima Merchant, an advocate and also a resident of Ram Mansion, argued that the building, which was built in 1923, is listed in the proposed heritage list as a Grade II structure.
In 2010, a developer purchased the property and since then they have been trying to evict the tenants.
Merchant argued "Since 80 per cent of the property is in the possession of the developer they are trying to illegally damage and destroying it."