The Bombay High Court has directed the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) to carry out a survey of the allotments made in all its schemes in the city and find out illegal transfers of tenements by the allottees.
The direction was passed recently by the division bench of Justices VL Achilya and Abhay Oka in response to a public interest litigation filed by the NGO Janhit Manch and others.
The court noted that if effective action was not taken against those who, in contravention of the rules, transfer the tenements, the very objective of the slum rehabilitation scheme would be defeated, especially when the allottees are given the tenements for free.
The HC, however, also clarified that it would have to be seen in which category an illegal transfer falls — one category is where the transfer is within 10 years of the allotment (which is prohibited) and the second is where the transfer is made after 10 years (which is allowed) but without the mandatory permission of the SRA.
“After carrying out a survey in a phase-wise manner, action shall be initiated,” HC said.
The court directed the chief executive officer of SRA to file an affidavit within a month setting out the time within which the survey would be carried out and action would be taken.
As per a March 2010 affidavit by the director, Sanjay Gandhi National Park, 8,711 tenements were allotted for the rehabilitation of those living illegally inside the park. Of these, 3,198 tenements were later inspected and it was found that 329 allottees had rented out the tenements illegally.
The next hearing would be on December 4.