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Illegal Structures Cannot Be Permitted To Be Re-Erected Merely Because Of Procedural Violation While Demolishing Them: SC [Read Judgment]

25 Oct 2019 3:04 AM GMT
Illegal Structures Cannot Be Permitted To Be Re-Erected Merely Because Of Procedural Violation While Demolishing Them: SC [Read Judgment]

"Blanket orders permitting re-erection will lead to unplanned and haphazard construction."

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The Supreme Court has observed that illegal structures cannot be permitted to be re-erected merely because there was procedural violation while demolishing it.

The bench comprising Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Aniruddha Bose disapproved a 'regular practice' followed by Bombay High Court in which it allows reconstruction of such structures demolished without following proper procedure. The bench remarked:

The High Court itself is aware that some of these structures may have been constructed without permission. If that be so, even if the demolition was carried out without giving the second notice, why should the party who has violated the law by raising the construction without obtaining permission be permitted to raise another illegal structure which only has to be razed to the ground, after following the procedure prescribed by law? Why should the Nation's wealth be misutilised and misused for raising an illegal construction which eventually has to be demolished?

The court said that it does not approve the action of the Municipal Corporation or its officials in demolishing the structures without following the procedure prescribed by law, but said that the relief in such cases which has to be given must be in accordance with law and not violative of the law. If a structure is an illegal structure, even though it has been demolished illegally, such a structure should not be permitted to come up again, it said.

If the Municipal Corporation violates the procedure while demolishing the building but the structure is totally illegal, some compensation can be awarded and, in all cases where such compensation is awarded the same should invariably be recovered from the officers who have acted in violation of law. However, we again reiterate that the illegal structure cannot be permitted to be reerected. The bench said:

"Blanket orders permitting re-erection will lead to unplanned and haphazard construction. This will cause problems to the general public. Even if the rights of private individuals have been violated in as much as sufficient notice for demolition was not given, in such cases structures erected in violation of the laws cannot be permitted to be re-erected."

The bench issued following important directions:

Before any construction/reconstruction, or repair not being a tenantable repair is carried out, the owner/occupier/builder/contractor/architect, in fact all of them should be required to furnish a plan of the structure as it exists. This map can be taken on record and, thereafter, the construction can be permitted. In such an eventuality even if the demolition is illegal it will be easy to know what were the dimensions of the building. This information should not only be in paper form in the nature of a plan, but should also be in the form of 3D visual information, in the nature of photographs, videos etc.

All the cities in Maharashtra where the population is 50 lakhs or more the municipal authorities will get Geomapping done not only of the municipal areas but also of areas 10 Kms. from the outer boundary. This can be done by satellite, drones or vehicles. Once one has the whole city geomapped it would be easy to control illegal constructions'

ensure that sufficient funds are made available to the municipal corporations concerned and this exercise should be completed within a period of one year from the date of this order.

The court also issued directions regarding the manner in which the evidence of illegal construction/reconstruction etc., is collected and notices are issued and served.       

Click here to Read/Download Judgment

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