The Bombay High Court on Monday sought information about the access points provided to a garden and open space, while hearing a matter on a housing society in Cuffe Parade restricting movement of the general public from accessing this plot of land.A division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice M S Sonak were hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by social worker Sanjay Kokate, who questioned how a plot reserved for a public garden and open space was being illegally used for its own use by the society, which was now preventing access to the public.
During the last hearing, the court had questioned how someone can take over a property while no action is taken by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). It had pulled up the civic body after a court receiver reported that the 32-storey DSK Durgamata Tower Society had taken over two-thirds of the land meant for a public garden and restricted access to the public.
On Monday, a committee comprising the court receiver and member secretary, Maharashtra Legal Services Authority, submitted another survey report before the court. “Either the owner is misusing or apartment users are misusing the open space…. someone is misusing. Who is misusing is the question,” said Chief Justice Manjula Chellur.
With a cabin being made there for security guards, the court questioned if the guards were preventing entry to the area. “You have completely breached requirements. How have they built the security cabin?” asked the court. “The way it looks, except for permission, nobody can go in,” said the court. Justice Sonak said nobody knew since when this had been happening.
The BMC also placed on record a copy of the sanctioned plan. “We direct the committee to inform us about the purpose of the security guard and place on record ways in which access is provided to the plot and also how the open space is used,” directed the Bench. The matter has been kept for further hearing on November 16.