The Bombay High Court Tuesday said that an order passed by a deputy municipal commissioner (improvement) in 2016, relating to a showcause notice issued by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to the lessee of the Campa Cola Compound in Worli, was prima facie beyond the scope of his adjudication and hence “illegal.”
The High Court passed this order while hearing petitions filed by residents of the Campa Cola Compound, who had challenged the order passed by the deputy municipal commissioner on July 14, 2016 and sought that it be set aside.
While hearing the matter on Tuesday, a division bench of Justice A S Oka said that “it was prima facie difficult to understand how the deputy municipal commissioner could have passed such an order.”
The court added that the deputy commissioner had no authority to do so. It has now kept the matter for final hearing on March 6. The court, referring to the Supreme Court judgment in the Campa Cola Compound matter, said, “We are reiterating that there should be zero tolerance as far as unauthorised construction is concerned.”
The court said that prima facie, the directions issued by the deputy commissioner “should not have been issued.” “We are shocked to note that he issued directions to BMC and to the six CHS to form a federation, to avoid further sub division of the plot,” said the court.
Justice Oka has directed the municipal commissioner of BMC to look into the order and withdraw it if it is not found viable legally. He can further ask an appropriate officer to look into the issue and pass orders in the matter.
The deputy commissioner was supposed to pass orders pertaining to a showcause notice issued by the BMC to the lessee of the property Pure Drinks Pvt Ltd calling upon the lessee to showcause as to why the lease granted to the company should not be terminated. The showcause has mentioned the breaches carried out by the lessee in terms of the unauthorised construction besides other breaches. Appearing for the deputy commissioner, senior counsel Anil Sakhare argued that his order cannot be said to be tainted.
The lessee had, meanwhile, transferred another vacant plot of land to one Kishore Developers. The allegations also pertain to the fact that this land was handed over to the developer without permission from the BMC.