Bombay HC Denies Demolition Relief to 41 Illegal Buildings in Vasai


The Bombay High Court on Monday denied any relief from demolition for 41 buildings in Vasai, Palghar district, after finding them to be “wholly illegal and unauthorized,” as they were constructed on land reserved for a sewage treatment plant and dumping ground.

A bench comprising Justices M S Sonak and Kamal Khata granted the building’s flat owners until September 30 to vacate the premises, provided they submit an undertaking to vacate.

In June 2023, while hearing a petition against the buildings, the bench had stated that there was no obstacle for the Vasai Virar City Municipal Corporation (VVCMC) to take action against these “patently illegal” structures.

Following this, the VVCMC demolished some of the structures and issued demolition notices to 41 other buildings, directing the occupants to vacate within 24 hours.

Fifteen flat owners from the affected buildings petitioned the High Court seeking relief against the demolition.

However, the court noted that the petitioners failed to demonstrate that the buildings they occupy were constructed with proper permission from the authorities. The court suggested that the flat owners might have been defrauded by the builder or developer and advised them to pursue legal action and seek damages.

The bench also criticized the civic body for not taking timely action and allowing such illegal structures to be built in the first place. “The civic body is encouraging the land mafia, and poor people are suffering as a result,” the court remarked.

The bench emphasized that the land reserved for the sewage treatment plant and dumping ground is essential and cannot be appropriated. “Wholly unauthorized constructions have been erected on land where they should not have been allowed. There is no question of protecting such wholly illegal and unauthorized structures,” the High Court stated.

Due to the ongoing monsoon, the court ordered that the civic body should not execute the demolition orders until September 30. The flat owners have been instructed to submit an undertaking to the civic body within a month, confirming that they will vacate the premises by September 30.


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