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Plea in Bombay HC against demolition on land earlier owned by former Sena minister Anil Parab

The plea claimed that the notice had not only referred to demolition of structure and restoration of land to its original mode, but also sought payment of Rs 25.27 lakh towards damage to the environment.

Anil Parab

THE BOMBAY High Court will hear coming Monday a plea challenging notice issued by Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MOEFCC) to the owner of a plot of land at Dapoli, asking him to show cause why the structure of Sai Resorts NX and the roads leading to it should not be demolished.

The plea claimed that the notice had not only referred to demolition of structure and restoration of land to its original mode, but also sought payment of Rs 25.27 lakh towards damage to the environment.

The petitioner and owner of the land, Sadanand Gangaram Kadam, claimed that the notices were issued at the behest of politically influential people who were rivals of former Cabinet minister Anil Parab who belongs to the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena faction and was the former owner of the plot.

Kadam claimed that before issuing notice, he was not granted an opportunity to be heard, therefore the same was not valid and required to be quashed and set aside.

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Kadam, in his plea filed through advocate Saket Mone, said he had purchased plot of land from Parab in May 2017 for constructing a bungalow on it and while the land could not be converted to non-agricultural use, the parties executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to commence preliminary construction work.

In September 2017, the sub-divisional officer (SDO) under the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning (MRTP) Act allowed for converting the land to non-agricultural purposes, after which a sale agreement was executed in December 2020 and name changes were made in land revenue records.

Looking at the rise of tourism in Dapoli, Kadam said he decided to develop a commercial space or a resort. He clarified that the structure being constructed was not complete and was not being utilised for personal or commercial purposes.

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He added that last year, based on ‘frivolous’ complaints by Parab’s political rivals, the SDO issued him a notice stating that the structure was illegal, contrary to provisions of laws, and ought to be demolished. The notice was challenged in civil court, which put a status quo on its effect.

However, in July 2021, BJP leader Kirit Somaiya moved the National Green Tribunal (NGT), stating that the resort flouted CRZ norms and sought demolition of the same along with criminal proceedings against Parab and others and the same is pending before the panel.

Kadam added that the Ratnagiri District Collector had passed suo motu order reviewing 2017 permission to petitioner to construct and convert land for non-agricultural use and appeal against the same is still pending.

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His plea added that the MoEFCC constituted a joint committee to assess the monetary value of damage caused to the environment due to CRZ violation and without hearing the petitioner, the report was sent to MoEFCC, which issued the notice to him.

He said the concerned authorities had issued notices while the status quo or stay orders were in force and did not give him chance to be heard, the same should be quashed and set aside.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Madhav J Jamdar posted the matter for hearing on Monday, September 26.

In July, this year, Somaiya approached the Bombay High Court seeking a court-monitored inquiry by a special investigation team against Parab over the ‘illegal’ conversion of agricultural land to build a resort in Dapoli.

First published on: 23-09-2022 at 01:18:28 am
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