Bombay High Court says “Don’t repair unauthorized structures”

A division bench of Justice Sharad Bobde and Justice Ramesh D. Dhanuka was hearing a petition filed by Shobha V. Koli who resides in Building No. 9, stating that the building had collapsed in 2010 and the landlord had managed to get work orders from Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation for its Repairs. The dilapidated structure is situated at 5th Cross Lane, Falkland Road.

This area was, formerly known as Pandu Maharaj Chawl, is now run by a trust headed by Niyas Ahmed Peerzada. Koli’s Writ Petition said it was Peerzada’s unauthorized construction of two additional rooms on an loft that triggered the collapse. She said that after the collapse, all tenants were issued eviction orders, saying the remaining structures were dilapidated and may collapse any time.

Her petition alleged that the BMC and its Assistant Municipal Commissioner (D-ward) colluded with Peerzada to give work orders to repair the dilapidated buildings, not only Building No. 9, but also nos. 355/ 371. She also alleged that Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) and the Mumbai Buildings Repairs and Reconstruction Board are covering the illegality by putting forward proposals for repairs. Her advocate said that the unauthorized constructions have even blocked the House gullies, and ingress and outgress is prevented. Even BMC did not conduct a proper inquiry before issuing work orders. 

Justice Bobde asked Mhada advocate P G Lad. “You are planning to authorize this?”,You don’t have to repair unauthorized structures,” he added. Reacting on this Adv. Lad said Mhada had merely given its No objection certificate for the repairs as it is a cessed building. “If the contractor violates the conditions of repairs, it is the responsibility of the BMC to demolish it,” he added.

Adv. R. P. Rathod. says that the judges have directed the BMC to file its affidavit to verify its position in respect to these structures. Adjourning the matter to 13th February 2012, they directed a “status quo as regards status of structures”. Copy of the Order passed in the said matter is as under.


Mrs. Shobha Venugopal Koli                 .. Petitioner


Municipal Corporation of Gr. Bombay
and ors.                                                 .. Respondents

Mr. A.R. Pandey i/by Mehul Rathod for petitioner.
Ms. Komal Punjabi for BMC.
Mr. P. G. Lad, AGP for respondent no.3.
Mr. M. K. Jain i/by M/s. M. K. Jain and Associates for respondent no.6.
Mr. Rajiv Mane, AGP for respondent no.7.
Mr. A.I. Patel for respondent no.8.

JANUARY 30, 2012.
          Mr. Patel, the learned counsel for respondent No. 8, seeks time to file reply.

          Stand over to 13/2/2012.
          In the meanwhile there shall be status quo as regards the status of the structures.

(R. D. DHANUKA,J.)                                    (S. A. BOBDE, J.)

- Courtesy Adv. R. P. Rathod.