HC sets aside Maha govts policy to regularise illegal buildings

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today set aside a Maharashtra government policy to regularise illegal structures in the state saying it was against the provisions of the State Town Planning Act (MRTP).

Refusing to approve the policy, a bench of justices Abhay Oka and Anuja Prabhudesai said, “If an illegal structure is constructed on roads or on public places in contravention of MRTP provisions, how can such a building or property be regularised by a policy framed by the Government.”

The court, earlier in December 2105, had set aside the governments policy on regularising illegal structures and had asked it to revise the same.

The government subsequently submitted a revised policy to the court, but the same was set aside today on the grounds of being against the MRTP rules.

The government also presented to the court a mechanism adopted by it to prevent the illegal structures from coming up in future.

“Why do you (state) have to wait for the high courts decision to bring such mechanism in place… You could have done this earlier,” the bench remarked after being apprised of the mechanism.

The bench said “earlier also we have passed orders to pull down illegal structures at Digha village in Navi Mumbai. But it seems they have gone unnoticed.”

The high court had in 2015 ordered demolition of 99 illegal buildings in Digha village, saying they were built in contravention of the laws of the land. A fortnight ago, the high court had pointed out several anomalies in the government?s revised policy regarding regularisation of illegal constructions across the state.

Hearing a bunch of PILs challenging illegal construction in Maharashtra and especially in Navi Mumbai?s Digha village, the bench had asked what was the need to introduce such a policy when there is no mention in it about the illegal structures existing on the government land.