Bombay HC, willing to accept Commissioner’s apology, orders demolition of illegal construction by corporator’s husband

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Friday said it will accept municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta’s statement that he was unaware of an illegal construction by a corporator’s husband, provided action is taken against the officials who misled him and the structure in Vile Parle (W) is razed.

A bench, headed by Justice Abhay Oka, took note of Mehta’s reply to the show cause notice issued to him on October 10 for civil and criminal contempt of court for regularizing an illegal construction by the husband of Congress corporator Binita Vora. The notice was issued after HC was informed that despite its June 17 order to raze the structure, it was regularized.

The June 17 order was passed in a petition by Shiv Sena worker Jitendra Janavale, whose wife Arti lost against Vora in the 2012 civic polls. Janavale’s petition claimed that Vora incurred disqualification as her husband, Mehul, had built the outhouse of their Vile Parle (W) bungalow into a showroom.

Mehta, in an affidavit, offered his unconditional apology and urged the court to accept the same saying he had neither any intention nor knowledge of having committed contempt of court. Blaming his predecessor for regularizing the illegal structure, Mehta said approval for regularization, along with change of user, was granted “by the then municipal commissioner“ on May 5, 2014, who also granted approval for open space deficiency on January 15, 2015. Mehta added that when the building proposals department sought the legal department’s opinon to process the amended plans, the deputy law officer said the proposal could be considered as per law. “The aspect that the HC was seized of the matter was not brought to my notice,“ Mehta said.

Justice Oka said, “This statement can be accepted as bonafide as long as he takes action against those officials who misled him. Secondly , action of regularization must go.”

Credits ET Realty


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