HC on Rane’s bldg: Question of vendetta doesn’t arise

Times of India | 2 days ago | 24-06-2022 | 08:13 am

HC on Rane’s bldg: Question of vendetta doesn’t arise

Mumbai: Observing that when prima facie the construction was unauthorised, the question of political vendetta doesn't arise, Bombay HC Thursday declined to set aside or stay BMC's June 3 rejection for regularisation of portions of an 8-floor Juhu residence of Union minister Narayan Rane. The HC, however, granted a six-week protection from any "coercive action", including demolition, after dismissing a plea filed by Kaalkaa Real Estates, a closely-held Rane family concern. The six-week reprieve is to enable an appeal before the Supreme Court.The HC had earlier, on March 22, restrained the BMC from taking any coercive steps for three weeks post its adverse decision on the regularization proposal. The protection was till June 24.The BMC in its rejection order had said the proposal for regularization "is not as per regulations of DCPR 2034 (Development Control & Promotion Regulations), MRTP Act, MMC Act and policies in vogue". "There is no FSI (floor space index—permissible buildable space) available for regularization work," said the BMC. It had more particularly said, "The FSI of the entire plot cannot be loaded on this particular structure as other structures/occupants on the same plot could be adversely affected, as it would amount to the use of FSI which the other owners/occupants of the same plots may be entitled to."Kaalkaa had challenged the BMC rejection order saying the civic action was "in pursuance of political rivalry and vendetta" as Maharashtra has a Shiv Sena-led government.The HC bench of Justices R D Dhanuka and M G Sewlikar heard senior counsel Milind Sathe who submitted that the refusal to permit regularization was based on "frivolous and malicious" objections not applicable under the law and "engineered at the behest of a particular political party, particularly the CM".Senior counsel Aspi Chinoy for BMC said the building used 2,244 square metres, three times the sanctioned area. Chinoy who opposed his plea said it was a larger plot of over 2,200 sq m and while 1,178 m was leased to the company—building plans were approved on 745 sq m, thus any regularization would cause an imbalance of FSI to other adjoining building occupants. He said the talk of "victimisation" would be good if three times the sanctioned area is not used.The HC agreed with BMC that mere grant of lease does not automatically sub-divide the plot. It did not accept Sathe's submission to consider FSI for a larger plot.The BMC had also said, "NOC from fire department for high rise building is not submitted which is mandatory document as refuge area is encroached upon.''Aadish, the multi-storey residence of Rane, had come under the civic scanner on a complaint filed in 2017 alleging illegal construction.The complaint was filed by one Santosh Daundkar who claims to be a social worker, through his lawyer Y P Singh. It had alleged that the layout of the plot was "drastically altered without permission of the municipal commissioner''.

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