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Remove illegal offices or face action: High Court to political parties

The Bombay High Court said Wednesday it may issue notices to leaders of political parties if they do not demolish illegal party offices in Thane.

The Bombay High Court said Wednesday it may issue notices to leaders of political parties if they do not demolish illegal party offices in Thane.

A division bench of justices A M Khanwilkar and A P Bhangale said,“The political parties should show some grace and ask party workers to remove the illegal structures.”

The remarks came in response to a public interest litigation filed by a Thane-based advocate Ajit Savagave through his lawyer Shekhar Bhise.

Justice Khanwilkar said the court may consider issuing notices to the leaders of the parties. The court also said it may ask the Election Commission to consider taking action against them. “We expect political parties to take necessary corrective steps,” the judges said.

The court further directed the Thane civic body to decide within two weeks regularisation applications made by 32 such unauthorised structures.

In an order on February 12,the bench had asked the Thane Municipal Corporation to take action against illegal party offices in the city within 10 days.

The TMC had informed the court that while there are 167 illegal buildings,owners of 77 buildings had secured injunction orders stopping further action from the district civil court.

Also,according to the corporation,31 structures were set up only for the elections in February last year and have now been removed.

The illegal party offices belong to various political parties including the Shiv Sena,Nationalist Congress Party,Maharashtra Navnirman Sena,Congress,Bhartiya Janata Party and Republican Party of India.

On February 12,the court had issued suo motu show cause notices to the local office bearers in Thane asking them to state why action should not be taken against the political parties on account of the illegal offices.

The case has now been placed for further hearing on March 25.

Bail plea of youth accused of shooting guard rejected

Bombay High Court Wednesday refused to grant bail to a 20-year-old student accused of shooting a security guard in Marine Lines in 2011.

Praveen Mishra,who faces murder charge,had urged the court to grant him bail stating that he is not a hardened criminal and had shot at the security guard at Sharda Chambers after the guard tried to stop him from fleeing.

According to the prosecution,on February 8,2011,Mishra,a BA student from Gandhinagar in Uttar Pradesh,and another accused Ramdas Rahane entered a third floor office of the building asking for one Manish Dholakia.

Jayashree Janardan,a staff,who saw a pistol tucked into Mishra’s back pocket raised an alarm.

When Mishra and Rahane tried to flee,Ajit Yenurkar,the security guard deployed at the office,tried to stop Mishra and got into a scuffle. Mishra fired at Yenurkar who was injured.

After being admitted to Bombay Hospital,Yenurkar was declared dead.

The Azad Maidan police station arrested the two accused on February 10,2011. They have been in prison since then.

After Yenurkar died,the charge of attempt to murder was altered to murder,additional public prosecutor Rajeshree Gadhvi said.

In his application filed through lawyer Sushma Nair,Mishra has contended that he had fired only one round to escape from the spot but that unfortunately injured Yenurkar fatally.

The trial in the case has,however,not begun. The court felt that it would not be fit to grant the accused bail at this stage and turned down the application.

Rahane too had sought bail from the court. His application was also rejected.

‘Take steps to stop plastic tricolour’

Responding to a public interest litigation,Bombay High Court Wednesday asked the state government to consider taking measures to stop the manufacture of national flags made of plastic.

The state government said it will “strictly implement” a 2007 government resolution (GR) imposing a ban on national flags made in plastic.

Additional government pleader Abhinandan Vagyani told the court that the government has taken steps to convey the GR to municipal corporations,schools and colleges in order to create awareness on the issue.

The court,however,observed that merely creating awareness is not sufficient and a mechanism to ban such flags needs to be set up.

As per the directions of the court,the additional chief secretary (home) was present in court to present the stand of the state government.

On Tuesday,the court had criticised the official for merely sending a written apology for not being present in court,despite a previous order. The court has now asked for details on the number of cases registered against persons pursuant to issuing the resolution.

The petitioner,an NGO named Hindu Janajagruti Samiti,while demanding implementation of the 2007 GR,contend that such plastic flags lead to insult of the national flag as they are often discarded after Independence Day and Republic Day celebrations.

Illegal parking space: HC gives NMMC 8 weeks to decide

Bombay High Court Wednesday asked the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) to take a decision on alleged illegalities with respect to the Tunga Regency Hotel in Vashi within eight weeks.

The direction has come in response to a public interest litigation filed by social activist Sandeep Thakur,questioning the provision of parking for the hotel on an adjoining CIDCO public parking plot.

The court in its order observed,“It is indisputable that there is material to indicate that Tunga hotel has violated the requirement of the development control by not providing adequate number of parking spaces proportionate to the built-up area…There is no provision,at least brought to our notice,which permits transferring of deficit parking spaces…to some other plot.”

A division bench of justices A M Khanwilkar and A P Bhangale also noted that though the CIDCO plot was being used by the hotel,no charges were recovered from the hotel for this.

Referring to the leave-and-licence agreement entered in the matter,which requires the hotel to beautify the plot,the court said it was merely an “eyewash.”

The judges observed that on account of this arrangement,the adjoining CIDCO plot had become an “annexe” of the hotel.

“The state and/or its agencies cannot give largesse to any person according to their sweet will as per whims of the political entities or officers of the state involved,” the order reads.

Last month,the CBD police registered an FIR against the director of the hotel and a CIDCO official who had allegedly approved the plans for parking without authority.

The official,however,has now passed away. The court has now asked the police to state the progress made in the investigation of the case by April 18. The FIR was registered after the court asked the managing director of CIDCO to report the matter to the local police.

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