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Illegal construction: Cops await BMC nod to prosecute offenders

The Mumbai Police has written a strongly worded letter to the state government,complaining that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has been dragging its feet on allowing the police to prosecute those booked for illegal construction under the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act.

Written by Sagnik Chowdhury | Mumbai | Published: June 14, 2012 2:25:03 am

The Mumbai Police has written a strongly worded letter to the state government,complaining that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been dragging its feet on allowing the police to prosecute those booked for illegal construction under the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning (MRTP) Act.

Sources said with over 200 MRTP Act cases registered over the past year-and-a-half still pending with the Mumbai Police,they have demanded that the BMC be directed to promptly take a decision on approvals for prosecution. Citing a Supreme Court judgement,the police have also said if the BMC does not take a decision within three months of permission being sought,they will automatically prosecute those booked under MRTP Act.

For a violation under the MRTP Act,the BMC has to file a case with the Mumbai Police. However,the police,in turn,have to seek sanction from the BMC to prosecute those booked.

The police argue that the BMC settles most of the cases by regularising illegal constructions under Section 53 of the MRTP Act. Sanction for prosecution is not given to the police then,adding to the tally of cases pending.

To reduce incidents of extortion,the Mumbai Police top-brass had recently brought MRTP Act cases under the ambit of the Economic Offences Wing and stopped local police stations from registering such cases. “A letter has been sent to the government,stating the practice of regularisation of illegal construction and the scope of money changing hands. As a result,cases registered with us are not disposed of. We have asked the government to direct the BMC to grant sanction for prosecution within a stipulated time-frame,” said a senior officer. “We have also cited an SC judgement,and if no decision is taken by the BMC in three months,the sanction will be deemed to have been given.”

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