Bombay High Court Allows Municipal Corporation To Evict Petitioners From Their Premises To Carry Out a Road Project

Background Facts

The present petitions challenged a common notice dated November 25, 2020, which was issued by the Respondent- Thane Municipal Corporation and proposed to demolish the premises belonging to the petitioners to undertake the project of widening the road from Diva Railway Station to Diva Circle. The impugned notices had stated that in an alternate, the petitioners would be provided with accommodation at sites as would set out in the said notices. The Petitioners were accordingly called upon to vacate the said premises within 15 days, failing which action as per the law would be initiated against them.

Petitioner’s Submissions

Mr Thorat learned counsel for the petitioners contended that the notice structures were well authorized and legal. He contended that if such be the case, then it would be expected of the Municipal Corporation to follow the due procedure under the law and only then evict the petitioners from their legitimately owned premises.

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He however also stated that his clients were not agreeing to accept any such offer of an alternate accommodation or a future allotment in any proposed cluster development as offered by the Municipal Corporation as another alternative. His only contention was that the Corporation ought to follow the procedure in law if it intended to evict the Petitioners from the said premises.

Respondent’s Submissions

Mr Bubna and Mr Limaye learned counsel for the Municipal Corporation had submitted that the structures considered were unauthorized. It was contended that the petitioners, did not have any legal right to occupy such structures. It was further submitted that some of the structures also did not have an Occupation Certificate, hence such structures could be in no manner held to be the authorized structures. Moreover, it was stated that despite this position of those structures, the Municipal Corporation was ready and willing to provide alternate accommodation to the present petitioners.

Consideration by Court

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After hearing the learned counsel for the parties, the Court considered the present circumstances and decided to pass over the matter to be heard in the second session to enable the learned counsel for the Corporation to take required instructions about whether the Municipal Corporation was agreeable to follow the procedure required in law under the Maharashtra Municipal Corporations Act to evict the Petitioners from their premises by withdrawing the impugned notices.

It was further observed that in another session, the Learned counsel for the Municipal Corporation had taken instructions from Mr Mahesh Ahir, the Designated officer, Diva Ward Committee of the Thane Municipal Corporation, and stated that the Municipal Corporation was prepared to withdraw the impugned notices and follow the procedure prescribed in law under Section 260 of the Maharashtra Municipal Corporations Act and other relevant provisions, provided the Petitioners would give up their claim for any of the alternate accommodation as offered by the Respondents or for any such right for the allotment of any premises as set out in the cluster development.

Later, the Learned counsel Ms Naikare, now appearing for the petitioners with Mr Thorat, original Learned Counsel for the petitioners, on instructions, had again stated that her clients were not at all interested to have any alternate accommodation or any allotment in the cluster development. The Court after considering this had accepted the statement which was made on behalf of the Petitioners.

Court’s Directions

Considering the above circumstances, the Court disposed of the petitions by passing an order that the statement was made on behalf of the Municipal Corporation, that the impugned notices would stand withdrawn and that the Municipal Corporation should follow the due procedure in law to initiate appropriate action against the petitioners if the Municipal Corporation sought eviction of the Petitioners from their said premises for the project of widening the said road, was thus, accepted.

Further, it was directed that the Petitioners in that event won’t have any claim whatsoever to any of the alternate accommodation, as in the impugned notices and as also set out in the proposed cluster development. Hence, the writ petitions were disposed of in the above terms.

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Click here to read the judgment.


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