The Bombay High Court has pulled up Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for not taking action against an unauthorised construction in Prabhadevi area of the city until they got authority from the city police to proceed in this direction.
"We fail to understand as to what prevents the corporation to initiate action against the unauthorised structure without waiting for the approval from the police authority," Justices Mridula Bhatkar and A M Khanvilkar observed.
"In our order dated October 31, we have referred to the grievance of the petitioner that political pressure was being exerted on the officers of the corporation. Perhaps, that may be the reason for the officers of the corporation to await approval from the police authorities to initiate further action in respect of the un-authorised structure. This cannot be countenanced," the judges noted.
The corporation is obliged to take corrective measures and more so, take the show cause notice dated January 12 to its logical end by not only initiating prosecution against the persons responsible but also take measures for removal of the unauthorised structure and compel the occupant to restore the original position as per the approved plan, the judges said.
The corporation is not only obliged to ensure that structure is in consonance with the approved plan but also the user of the premises as per the norms prescribed for premises falling under the residential zone, the court noted.
"We hope and trust that the Deputy Commissioner-II, South Ward, shall personally look into the grievance of the petitioner and take all measures as may be necessary including to take show cause notice to its logical end in accordance with law and report compliance in that behalf on or before the next date of hearing of this petition," the bench said.
The court was hearing two cross petitions, one filed by Balu Shivgand and the other by Dr Buchirajam Katkam.
Balu relied upon a communication issued under the signature of Assistant Commissioner G/South Ward of BMC dated January 12. He prayed that inspite of unauthorised structure and illegality noticed by the corporation, no action had been taken in respect of structures occupied by Katkam.