The Bombay High Court last week directed Pune Municipal Corporation to grant occupation certificate for two buildings at Indian Law Society Law College, Pune. While one of the buildings is meant for the new girls hostel, the second one is reserved for an arbitration centre.
Division bench of Justice SC Dharmadhikari and Justice GS Patel heard the writ petition filed by Indian Law Society and directed PMC to grant OC within two weeks.
PMC had withheld the grant of occupation certificate to the petitioner after imposing a condition while issuing the commencement certificate that petitioner society will handover a portion of their land to PMC for construction of a 30-meter Development Plan Road.
Senior Counsel YS Jahagirdar appeared on behalf of the petitioner society and submitted that there is no question of linking the condition imposed on the petitioner while issuing a Commencement Certificate with that of the grant of the Occupation Certificate. That condition, if required to be enforced, can still be enforced irrespective of the grant of Occupation Certificate. However, there is no obligation to handover any portion of the land or property of the petitioner free of cost for laying of a Development Plan Road (DP Road). If that obligation has to be fulfilled by the Pune Municipal Corporation, it must take recourse to law, Jahagirdar said.
"If there is any condition imposed on the petitioner while allowing the development or granting development permission, but that condition has still not been complied with, none prevented the Pune Municipal Corporation from taking recourse to law, including the law enabling forcible acquisition of land. In other words, the applicable land acquisition law. However, the Completion Certificate and the Occupation Certificate cannot be withheld in the facts and circumstances of the case on this ground.
Merely because Pune Municipal Corporation issues this Occupation Certificate does not mean that no proceedings can be initiated for acquisition of the land."
While the petitioner society has disputed that there was any such condition, either in the Sanad or in the Commencement Certificate, Court noted-
"If at all there is a reservation or proposal in the development plan for a DP Road of 30 meters' width, then, if that road cuts through the petitioner's property or is affected by the petitioner's property, the Pune Municipal Corporation can acquire that portion or that piece or parcel of land from the petitioner's property by taking recourse to the acquisition law. The Land Acquisition Act can be invoked in the absence of any reservation or designation if there is a public purpose. The grant of Occupation Certificate will not preclude or prohibit the Pune Municipal Corporation from taking recourse to such law."
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