THE BOMBAY High Court has directed officials of the Maharashtra National Law College to visit sites proposed by the state government at Gorai and Pahadi in Goregoan to build a permanent campus of the National Law University. After inspection, the officials would have to communicate their decision to the government on where they want to build the campus.
The court was hearing a petition filed by advocate Pradeep Havnur, who has stated that the land at Gorai, measuring 60 acres — allotted by the government on June 10, 2016 — is yet to be handed over.
In February, a division bench of Justice S C Dharmadhikari and Justice Prakash D Naik had noted that while land has been identified at Gorai for the university, the government had offered to indulge in private negotiations with other parties as well over the same land. Even Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority was interested in land, the court was then told.
However, through an affidavit, the principal secretary recently told the court that the government was ready to handover around 60 acres at Gorai for the university campus.
With the university set to come up in an area falling under the coastal regulation zone, the campus buildings can only be as high as 11 floors.
The affidavit added that the restrictions should not act as an impediment for the university. Further, the government told the court was land was also available at Pahadi in Goregaon, where the university can come up.
The division bench said in its order, “We hope and trust that… university officials… will now take a call and not delay the matter…”
It added that the court has ensured the land at Gorai and Pahadi are for the “use of the university and the state government shall not allot them to any third party until further orders by the court”.
“The Maharashtra National Law University officials, together with the representative of the state government appointed by the principal secretary (Revenue), department of revenue and forests, government of Maharashtra and the collector of Mumbai suburban district… also the support staff… visit and site inspection be carried out…,” the bench directed.
After the inspection, the university will have to communicate in writing its choice of land. The government should take steps to allot the land by ensuring that all encroachment is removed and it is vacant and available for construction, the court said.