Bombay High Court stays demolition of 2 illegal floors Goregaon society

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In a major relief to 16 families of a 22-storeyed building in Goregaon, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday restrained the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) from demolishing two allegedly unauthorized floors of the Manav Kalyan Cooperative Housing Society, pending decision on the regularisation application made by the society to the corporation.

A vacation bench of Justices SC Gupte and KR Shriram while disposing off the petition made by the society challenging the demolition notice issued by the corporation, directed the civic body to decide on the regularisation application within three months.

"How can you send a demolition notice to the society when you have not decided on the application made by them," the bench observed.

The relief means that 16 families which occupy the 21st and 22nd floors of the building can continue to stay in their houses.

Solicitor Mustafa Kachwala and advocate Rakesh Misar argued before the court that the builder has extra FSI available with him which can be utilised for regularising the alleged unauthorised floors. The corporation, which was told to file its reply, on Wednesday informed the court that it was willing to consider the regularisation application made by the society.

As per the petition the society earlier comprised 10 buildings consisting of ground plus three floors. In 2010, the society entered into a redevelopment agreement with Kumar Builders. The developer then constructed a 20-storeyed building to house the 160 society members as approved by the corporation. Since all the members were not housed and 16 members were being left out and they couldn't find any suitable alternate accommodation, the builder requested the corporation to allow him to build two extra floors.

In 2011, the corporation issued a notice to developer for demolishing the unauthorized floors. In response the developer applied to the BMC for regularisation of the illegal floors. However, on April 3, and May 30 the corporation issued notice asking the builder to demolish the unauthorized floors.

The society claimed in the petition that the notice is manifestly arbitrary, contrary to law and/or without jurisdiction, violative of natural justice and is perverse. Further it said if the 21st and 22nd Floors of A and B wing are demolished, 16 members will be left without any home, especially with the expected rains to come. The society prayed for staying of the demolition notice.

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