In Mumbai recently the Bombay High Court has issued a notice to chief executive officer, the assistant registrar of Slum Rehabilitation Authority(SRA) and also to the principal secretary of the urban development department in a contempt petition filed by Prem Siddha Co-operative Housing Society (PSCHS) in a case pertaining to about 14,000 Suare meter plot in Worli, Mumbai. The case is listed and is to be heard by division bench of the High Court.
As per the petitioner, Prem Siddha Co-operative Housing Society (PSCHS) the Slum Rehabilitation Authority(SRA) had flouted a high court order of October 2013, in which case the HC had set aside the approval of a redevelopment indra Co-operative Housing Society9(ICHS) the same plot. The lawyer of PSCHS Samir vaidya has said that after the court set aside the scheme there was no scheme existing in favour of ICHS at present. But, the SRA has gone out of its way to hear that society for changing the developer for implementation of slum rehabilitation scheme on that same plot of land.
In the petition, the PSCHS had requested the court to hold the government officials liable for criminal contempt and give them suitable punishment sentences.
The case was with regard to redevelopment of plot where 2200 families lived and which was declared as a slum in 1995. The BMC had leased the plot to the Birla group industries charity trust on a 99 year lease in 1946.In November 1995, the trust had expressed its desire to redevelop the property and the PSCHS had sought permission of the SRA.
The Trust granted its No-objection certificate (NOC) to PSCHS for redevelopment of the slum in 1996. But, as per the contempt petion the SRA in November 1997, had principally approved a redevelopment scheme submitted by Indra Co-operative Housing Society, without waiting for BMC’s response. In the petition, it was also alleged that the ICHS had not sought the land-owner’s consent for redevelopment, which was mandatory.
But, in 1998 the SRA was informed by the BMC that the Trust wanted to proceed with redevelopment of the plot with PSCHS and had also told the ICHS that the SRA scheme would be approved based on trust’s NOC. However, on March 5,1999, the SRA cleared the proposal of ICHS made through shivakrupa developer. The petitioners alleged that their proposal was not considered by the SRA.
The matter went through a series of litigations in the slum tribunal, the city civil court and high court. In October 2013, the scheme approved by the SRA in favour of ICHS was set aside by the high court. The petitioners ( PHCHS) alleged that even after the status quo period of three months, as directed by the court had lapsed, the SRA had not considered the proposal submitted by the petitioners, appointing Tulja Bhavani developers to carry out the redevelopment scheme.