High court strikes people who buy homes without ground checks

real estate india

MUMBAI: Slamming buyers who book flats in buildings constructed on spaces reserved for public amenities, and developers, the Bombay high court said, “people who buy homes without checking the development plan, it is their funeral”. The HC was hearing petitions by occupants of 20 Virar buildings that have come up on plots meant for a road and a playground. The petitioners have challenged the Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation (VVMC)’s notices to raze their buildings at Vavtewadi in Phoolpada.

The occupants’ advocates argued on April 9 that their clients bought the flats with registered agreements, they had permissions, banks granted them loans and property tax was recovered from them. But a bench of Justice Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari and Justice Burgess Colabawalla said they won’t tolerate any construction or unauthorised activity at the site meant for a road and playground. They said occupants will have to make sacrifices. “You can’t be selfish. We will not put you on road,” said Justice Dharmadhikari, adding, “If a building is affecting DP that part will be slashed and cut.”

The bench has sought an undertaking from the developers-cum-landowners assuring that they will get the buildings vacated and rehabilitate occupants with families “in your property and not anybody’s property within a timeframe”. “If you don’t do this, they will come with bulldozers and demolish all of them… We’ll ensure the amenities of the public come to the public. Nobody will even get an opportunity to dig their dirty nose in this,” Justice Dharmadhikari warned. An advocate for landowners, 27 of them and few of whom are also developers, said he will file an undertaking on behalf of 25 persons. “In the event, this project is not implemented within time schedule prescribed by this court, then, all consequences shall ensue, in the sense buildings which have come up can then be demolished to make DP Road and playground,” said the bench. The matter will be heard on Monday.

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