By Accommodation Times Bureau
The Bombay High Court has directed a trial court to decide by December 15 whether a developer can construct additional multi-storeyed towers in the open space of two housing societies at Mari Nagar, Mahim.
Justice Gautam Patel’s order came on an appeal filed by St Michael Church against a September 2016 order of the City Civil Court restraining additional development. Our Lady of Vailankanni and Perpetual Succour Cooperative Housing Society had filed a suit to direct the church, the owner of the land on which the buildings stand, to execute a deed of conveyance in their favour. The residents had sought an interim restraint on developer Suraj Estate Developers saying the proposed construction will reduce their open space including three gardens. The trial court in September restrained construction till disposal of the suit.
The Church appealed against this order. Its advocate S C Naidu submitted that there were 20 buildings in the original layout. Fifteen buildings were demolished and their occupants re-housed in two multi-storey buildings. He said five buildings remain are remaining. He also said due to amendment in development control regulations, a separate building will have to be given to Mhada.
Advocate for the society argued that the Church and the builder were “attempting to illicitly load extra free space index or transfer development rights on the plot for construction contrary to what had been promised to them.”
Justice Patel, in his June 3 order, noted that as a result of the stay on construction further development is prevented but the impact is felt more by persons “to whom accommodation in the remaining five buildings was promised” and to Mhada which will not be able to get its public housing building. “At the same time, allowing construction to proceed would conceivably cause irrevocable and irreversible prejudice to the plaintiffs,” he added.
He directed the stay to continue till disposal of the suit and for four weeks thereafter if it is dismissed. The parties are to appear before the trial court on July 28 and the trial court is requested “to endeavour to complete the trial” and give its verdict not later than December 15.