Bombay High Court recently asked Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta to be present before the court, after the corporation had ‘failed to comply’ with the court order.
The court was hearing a petition by the residents of Bhatia building on Princess Street, which said that the landlord had dug up the foundation of the building and attempted to put up a mezzanine floor in a ground floor flat. The petition says that the digging has damaged the building and has put “life and property of the tenants to grave danger”.
In an earlier court order, the landlord as well as the contractor of the panel of Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) were arrested and the restoration of the foundation work was commenced. Later, on May 16, 2018, the Court was informed that certain cracks had developed in the toilet block of the building.
The directions were given by the court that the Municipal Corporation as well as MHADA should take action “to prevent any harm, damage or injury being caused to the tenants” of the building. The Corporation and MHADA were directed to submit their report to May 22, 2018.
Justice S J Kathwalla, in his order on May 22, said, “However, the Municipal Corporation has not taken any action in the matter save and except informing the Court today that they have just asked the Developer yesterday i.e. only on 21st May 2018 that the area should be back filled and steps be taken for soil stabilisation.”
The court said by this “developer is allowed to carry out further works by the Corporation which has resulted in further damage” to the building.
Justice Kathawalla said, “This is the manner in which the Corporation functions and this is the respect and regard that the higher officers of the Corporation display towards the orders and directions of the court.” The court directed Municipal Commissioner to remain present before the court on May 24.