In a relief to a visually challenged man in view of the prevailing “extraordinary” situation and on “humanitarian grounds”, the Bombay High Court has extended the deadline by nearly two months for him to pay Rs 7.64 lakh, which was due on May 8, for a flat allotted to him under Divyang quota in a CIDCO-run housing scheme at Kharghar, Navi Mumbai. The court also restrained CIDCO from taking coercive steps against the man until June 30.
Justice Suresh C Gupte on May 5 heard a plea filed by the man seeking an extension for payment. The petitioner, an advocate in HC, was allotted a 600 sq ft flat in 2014 and was asked to pay Rs 49.7 lakh in instalments. However, in February 2018, he was denied allottment of the flat by CIDCO citing delay in payment, prompting him to move HC.
Last December, the HC quashed CIDCO’s letter cancelling the allotment and allowed the man on “humanitarian grounds” to make delayed payments of nearly Rs 15.29 lakh in two instalments – on February 7 and on or before May 8, this year.
However, on May 5, advocate Nitesh Bhutekar, representing the man, moved HC stating that as Mumbai and Navi Mumbai are under lockdown, “the applicant is finding it difficult to arrange funds and requests the court to grant him some time to make payment”.
Advocate Rohit Sakhdeo, appearing for CIDCO, opposed the plea. However, Justice Gupte noted, “Be that as it may, considering unusual circumstances obtaining as of date, this court is of the view that a reasonable extension of time deserves to be granted to the applicant.”
The court ordered that applicant can pay the balance instalment of Rs 7,64,974 by June 30. “It is made clear that this extension is granted only as an indulgence and by way of a last chance, and no application shall be made hereafter for further extension of time,” it said, adding that in case of default, CIDCO shall be entitled to cancel the allotment.