Hours after the Supreme Court dismissed a plea of former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt’s wife Shweta challenging the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation’s (AMC) decision to demolish an illegally constructed portion of their house, the civic body razed the structure on Monday.
The civic body’s demolition squad, under Assistant Municipal Commissioner Vishal Khanama, pulled down 92 sq metre of Bhatt’s residence in Ahmedabad’s Sushil Nagar Society on Drive-in Road.
“I had given an undertaking that in 15 days, if the petition goes against me, I will myself alter or demolish the structure keeping its integrity in mind…This building is in this state for the last 20 years as per their (AMC’s) own records. They have been taxing me for 371.50 sq metres (on which the property stands),” Bhatt told The Indian Express. The 92 sq metre portion that was razed by the civic body was constructed illegally on the margin, official sources said.
Earlier in the day, a three-judge bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi, R Banumathi and Navin Sinha had declined to go into the submissions of Bhatt’s counsel, saying it had already examined the matter and found no merit in it. “The other day we protected you. Now we have examined the matter…You do not have permission,” said Justice Gogoi.
On July 26, the Bench had stayed an order of the Gujarat High Court division bench, allowing the demolition of illegal structures at the residential property, till Monday.
Hearing the case, filed in 2012, a single-judge bench of the High Court had on July 11 given a go-ahead to the municipal corporation to demolish the illegal portion of the house.
Bhatt had earlier claimed that the construction was carried out following a security threat and that they had sought permission from the municipal corporation for it. Among other changes, the couple had increased the height of the compound wall beyond five feet. Some neighbours protested and eventually they approached the High Court seeking its demolition.
A 1988 Gujarat cadre IPS officer, Sanjiv Bhatt had locked horns with the then state government headed by Narendra Modi over the 2002 post-Godhra riots. He was initially suspended from service and later terminated from Indian Police Service.