Acting on a public interest litigation (PIL), the the Bombay High Court Monday restrained the state government from legalising any of the 56,000-odd illegal or unauthorised buildings in Mumbai for at least six weeks and sought its reply on the matter.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had recently announced in the state Assembly that illegal structures would be regularised. He said his government had already accepted, “in-principle”, an expert panel’s report for regularisation of such structures and that a formal decision would be announced by the end of April.
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Challenging the state’s proposal, the PIL filed by Rajendra Thakkar, cited a 2004 HC which, according to him, had specifically laid down norms for carrying out such legalisation.
The PIL said the proposal of regularisation “indirectly aids the illegal acts of the builders and owners of the premises”. “Such rampart regularisation will be a precedent for the municipal corporations and councils that are additionally burdened with the issue of illegal structures in total defiance of earlier HC order,” said the petitioner.
Thakkar submitted that the authorities should have issued a public notice and invited objections.
Thakkar also stated that he had sought the list of the 56,000 illegal buildings and related information through an RTI query on March 25, 2015 but the Urban Housing Department had not responded to date.
Justices Abhay S Oka and A P Bhangale, after hearing the petitioners’ contentions, asked the state government not to pass any final order in connection with the regularisation of such structures.