The Bombay High Court on Monday asked Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni, representing the Maharashtra government, to consider whether the Mumbai Suburban District Collector can withdraw an order transferring the 102-acre Kanjurmarg land to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and inform its decision to the court on Wednesday.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish S Kulkarni was hearing the Centre’s writ plea, filed through its deputy salt commissioner, challenging a November 2018 order of the revenue minister declaring that while the state was the owner of various salt pans in Mumbai, some were privately owned.
The state, through the Mumbai Suburban Collector, had passed an order transferring the Kanjurmarg salt pan land on October 1 and handing over its possession to MMRDA on October 6. Consequently, MMRDA transferred the land to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (DMRCL) on October 8.
While the state government transferred 102 acres in Kanjurmarg to MMRDA for the Metro car shed project, the Centre opposed it on the ground that all salt pans belonged to it.
CJ Datta said, “The Collector is aware that there is a pending suit. In his order, is there any mention on the suit? No reference at all? He just turned a blind eye and there should be proper exercise of power. Prima facie we are of the view that the matter should go to the Collector. Let him decide after hearing Garodia and others.”
Further hearings have been posted to Wednesday.
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