The Bombay High Court recently rejected a petition by a developer challenging a notification by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) stopping construction work near Juhu Wireless Station.
The circular restrained the developer from carrying out construction of a property under slum rehabilitation scheme in Juhu as it was located near the wireless station, which provides communication infrastructure to defence forces. The property is located within 500 yards of the station.
The petitioner claimed the property is owned by the state government and is a slum area. A notification by the MoD on June 19, 1976, however, imposes restrictions on constructions in the vicinity of Juhu station.
The developer had challenged another condition, which required a no objection certificate to be obtained from defence authorities. While the developer started constructing a 48-metre-high tower, the defence authorities approached the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to stop construction of the building near their wireless station. With the civic body issuing a stop work notice, the developer approached the High Court challenging provisions preventing him from carrying out the construction.
One of the contentions was that in the past, the civic body and the state government had allowed redevelopment without insisting on any NOC.
A Bench of Justice SC Dharmadhikari and BP Collabawalla observed that the requirement for an NOC from the defence authorities was justified and does not suffer from any illegality. “Merely because some buildings were allowed to be constructed in breach of law, the same cannot give any right to the petitioner to contend they can commit this illegality and perpetuate it by putting up construction in contravention of the notification. We cannot issue any direction permitting the petitioner to commit any illegality,” observed the court.