The Supreme Court today refused to entertain Mumbai’s Hiranandani Developers’ plea against the Bombay High Court order restraining it from carrying out any further development activity at its suburban Powai township,without providing flats for the weaker section of the society.
A bench of justices H L Dattu and Chandramauli K Prasad said it cannot interfere with the high court’s order “at this juncture” and prompted the real-estate major to withdraw its plea.
“After arguing the matter for quite some time,senior counsel,Mr (Mukul) Rohatgi,requests the court to permit him to withdraw the petitions. Permission sought for is granted,” the bench said.
While declaring the special leave petitions as “disposed of as withdrawn”,the bench declines to disturb the high court order which had said that the development in ‘Pawai Area Development Scheme’ on 230 acres of land was meant for affordable houses of 400 and 800 square feet,as per the tripartite agreement among the State Government,the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and the original land owners.
On a public interest litigations,alleging violation of the tripartite agreement,which also provided for construction of affordable houses for the poor,the Bombay High Court on February 22 had,in an interim order,restrained the builder from carrying out any further developmental activities on the project.
The public interest litigations at the high court against Hiranandani Developers had pointed out that the real estate major was allowed to build the township on the condition that it must build a certain number of flats for the weaker section of the society. Such flats were to be of smaller size,to make them affordable.
The developer,however,got around this requirement by “amalgamating” such smaller flats or selling adjoining flats to different members of the same family (from affluent classes),the PIL had said.
The high court had said the developer “shall not put up any further construction in remainder of the plot before specifying vacant land and buildings that can be constructed”.
It had directed Hiranandani to construct 1,511 flats of 40 square meters area each and 1,593 flats of 80 square meters area each without amalgamating.
“No two flats shall be sold to the same person or two members of the same family,” it had said.
It said the developer would not carry out any other construction in Powai Area Development Scheme (PADS) unless High Court allows it.