Illegal construction at Union min’s bungalow to be demolished; Rs 10L fine imposed

The Bombay high court directed the BMC to demolish the unauthorised parts of the Union minister's bungalow within a period of two weeks and submit a compliance report to the court one week thereafter.

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed the Mumbai civic body to demolish the unauthorised construction at Union minister Narayan Rane’s bungalow in Juhu area here, noting it had violated the Floor Space Index (FSI) and Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules.

Floor space index (FSI) is the maximum permissible floor area that can be built on a particular plot or /piece of land.

A division bench of Justices R D Dhanuka and Kamal Khata said the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) cannot be permitted to consider and allow the second application filed by a company run by the Rane family seeking regularisation of the unauthorised construction as it would “encourage wholesale construction of unauthorised structures”.

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The court directed the BMC to demolish the unauthorised parts of the bungalow within a period of two weeks and submit a compliance report to the court one week thereafter.

The bench also imposed a cost of Rs 10 lakh on Rane and directed for the amount to be deposited towards the Maharashtra State Legal Services Authority within two weeks.

Rane’s advocate Shardul Singh sought that the court stay its order for six weeks so that he could approach the Supreme Court in appeal.

The bench, however, rejected it.

The court dismissed the petition filed by Kaalkaa Real Estates, a company owned by Rane’s family, seeking directions to the BMC to decide their second application uninfluenced by orders passed by civic body earlier.

The BMC had in June this year rejected the regularisation application, noting there were violations in the construction.

The company filed a second application in July, claiming it was seeking regularisation of a smaller portion as compared to what it had sought previously, and under new provisions of the Development Control and Promotion Regulation 2034.

The high court in its order said the BMC’s stand that it could consider the second application for regularisation of the construction was inconsistent with its own order rejecting the first application. The bench noted that the HC had in June this year accepted the BMC’s first order.

“If the regularisation application is allowed to be heard which the BMC is bent upon allowing, then it would lead to encouragement of wholesale construction of unauthorised structures,” the court said.

The petitioner (company owned by Rane) has constructed three times the permissible limit of FSI and has not obtained clearances from the BMC, the fire department and also not taken environmental clearance, the bench said.

“The application for the proposed retention will amount to the encouragement of large-scale violation within the city of Mumbai without any concern for the statutory provisions,” the court said.

If such retention is allowed and accepted then it would encourage more such illegal constructions and other home buyers would also indulge in such violations, the HC said.

The BMC had earlier told the court that it was willing to hear the second application for regularisation of unauthorised construction at the suburban Juhu bungalow of Union minister Narayan Rane, even as the first application had been rejected.

The HC had last month while hearing arguments on the plea asked how the BMC could consider a second application when the first application for regularisation was rejected by the civic body, and the first order accepted by the HC saying the construction was prima facie illegal.

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