The Bombay High Court Thursday ordered the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to give a personal hearing to comedian Kapil Sharma and others with regard to the civic body’s demolition notice served to their Goregaon property. The court directed that no coercive action be taken in the FIR filed in this regard.
The directive came after the BMC informed the court that it had withdrawn the notice filed in November 2014 under Section 351 of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, which was being heard by the city civil court.
The civil court had stayed the demolition notice after which, the BMC had issued another notice of demolition under Section 53 of the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning (MRTP) Act in September 2016. An FIR was also registered by the BMC under the same section.
On Thursday, a division bench headed by Justice Naresh Patil was hearing a bunch of petitions filed by Sharma, actor Irrfan Khan and others, including the builder of the Goregaon property, DLH Enclave, against the 2016 demolition notice. They had contented that the BMC shouldn’t have issued a fresh notice when another notice with the same allegations was pending before the lower court.
After the high court was informed that the 2014 notice had been withdrawn, it asked the petitioners to file a reply with the BMC within three weeks and directed the civic body to conduct a hearing thereafter.
Ranjit Thorat, who represented the builder, and Pradeep Thorat, who appeared for Sharma, told the court that the notice was vague and bad in law and that the petitioners will file an appropriate reply against the allegations. BMC’s lawyer told the court that it decided to withdraw the 2014 notice after consultation with legal experts.
The BMC also informed the court about the violations in the property with the help of photographs and told the court that there have been illegal extensions and alterations in the property.
Disposing of the petition, Patil said: “Since the corporation has withdrawn the first notice, the petitioners can file their reply within three weeks. We also direct the authorities to not take any coercive action with respect to the FIRs registered in this regard.”
The court directed the developer to provide details of all occupants of the flat to the BMC after the department sought the information. The civic body had issued the notice to both the developer and the occupants, including Sharma, alleging that alterations in the flats flouted the construction norms and have extended the room space by encroaching on external elevations. Apart from the developer, Sharma and Khan, three other occupants were also sent notices by the corporation.