The Bombay High Court said Monday that structures built by diamantaire Nirav Modi should be demolished if they are illegal. The court was hearing a petition filed by Sambhuraje Yuvakranti, seeking directions to remove the unauthorised constructions carried out within the low tide and high tide area along Alibaug by “wealthy and law-breaking people” who reportedly presented themselves as agriculturists.
According to the petitioner, there are as many as 175 such private bungalows in the coastal regulation zone (CRZ) areas of villages such as Varsoli, Sasvane, Kolgaon and Dokvade, among others, all in Raigad district’s Alibaug taluka.
According to the petition, these structures belong to many businessmen, including Nirav Modi.
Last month, the state government told the Bombay High Court that it has issued demolition notices to 58 illegal constructions carried out within the low tide and high tide line in Alibaug.
According to an affidavit filed by Dr Vijay Suryawanshi, District Collector of Raigad, on Monday, of 58 unauthorised structures, 10 have been demolished. Civil Judge Senior Division, Alibaug, has ordered to maintain “status-quo” of 42 structures, the affidavit said.
An application was filed by the ED last week before the High Court stating that Modi’s bungalow has been attached by the agency as part of its money laundering probe against him. The ED sought a stay on the Raigad Collector’s demolition order and requested the court to give the agency a hearing.
Chief Justice Naresh H Patil and Justice N M Jamdar, on the request of the ED, said that “if the structures are illegal then it should be demolished”.
The Collector’s affidavit also said that a day after the demolition order was passed, the sub-divisional officer of Alibaug wrote a letter to the ED seeking permission to de-seal Modi’s property and demolish it.
The affidavit added that the ED had sent an e-mail to the CBI on January 2, 2019, requesting the latter “to depute an officer for de-sealing the said property or for providing NOC to ED for the same”.