The Bombay High Court today pulled up the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) for not initiating action against a city-based developer, which failed to pay transit rent to the tenants of a building taken up for redevelopment. A division bench of justices R M Savant and Sadhana Jadhav also alluded that the MHADA officers may be in collusion with the developer – Shree Swami Samarth Builders – and hence, are not complying with the orders passed by the high court last year. “We know how such things work. I am 100 per cent sure that the MHADA officers might be sitting in the evening with the builders and having drinks,” Justice Savant remarked. The court was hearing a petition filed by Sameer Patil, the tenant of building Samarth Krupa, seeking directions to the builder to pay him rent arrears of over Rs 8.24 lakh.
According to the plea, the building, located on a prime plot at the junction of Gokhale Road and Ranade Road in Dadar, was demolished in 2010 and proposed to be redeveloped. However, the construction work was abruptly stopped by the builder in 2014. After that the builder even refused to pay the transit rent to the tenants. The high court had in October last year directed MHADA to initiate action against the builder, and also attaching the builder’s properties and recover the transit rent.
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The court had then even suggested MHADA to take acquisition of the building and complete the construction. However, the petitioner today informed the high court that till date MHADA has not initiated any action. The high court today issued a final notice to the builder. The court said that if by the next date the builder is not represented by a lawyer, the court would issue a non- bailable warrant. The court has posted the matter for further hearing on August 10. Nearly 73 tenants, including 16 shop owners, of the Samarth Krupa building had agreed to the redevelopment. The MHADA had issued a commencement certificate for a ground-plus-10-storey building in 2010.