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Bombay HC rejects plea for policy to regularise illegal bldgs

Bombay HC rejects plea for policy to regularise illegal bldgs

Bombay High Court on Wednesday rejected Maharashtra government’s pleas to go ahead with the draft policy on regularisation of illegal structures in Maharashtra.

Calling it “arbitrary, faulty and illegal,” the court directed the state to not go ahead with the policy without its permission. A government petitioner has now told HC that the government will need some time to come out with another policy.

The draft policy was brought in before the court this month during the hearing of a public interest litigation concerning illegal structures in Navi Mumbai. On April 4, the state asked Bombay High Court for permission to implement it.

The draft policy regularizes all illegal structures – slums as well as those on government land – in Maharashtra before Dec 31, 2015, despite an earlier HC ruling disallowing the regularisation of any structure built illegaly after January 1, 1995. It further permits construction on land reserved for schools, playgrounds, roads, open spaces, public authorities and even government land.

The bill also proposes to regularize illegal constructions in industrial, commercial and no-development zones by converting them into residential zones. According to petitioners, there are about 2.5 lakh illegal buildings in Maharashtra, not counting slums and other illegal structures.

During their ruling, judges said the policy was “completely illegal” and “contrary to the law laid down by Supreme Court, which said illegal constructions should not be tolerated”. They also noted that the policy gave a go-by to floor space index (FSI) rules and that according to it, “anything will be regularized by paying market value of the land”.

Judges also said, if given a go ahead, the policy will lead to a complete breakdown of law – especially urban planning laws – and will put severe pressure on civic amenities. It said the state should have undertaken a study to look into these issues.

HC has now directed the state to bring its new policy to court whenever its formulated.

( Source – PTI )


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