Bombay HC dismisses Rane’s plea against BMC order on his Juhu bungalow

A bench led by Justice RD Dhanuka said Rane’s plea, which had claimed political vendetta behind the civic body order, was ‘devoid of merits and deserved to be dismissed’

Narayan Rane. File Photo

On Thursday, the Bombay High Court dismissed the plea filed by Union minister Narayan Rane challenging the city civic body’s order against his Juhu bungalow. The High Court dismissed the plea stating that it did not appear to be a case of political vendetta.

A bench led by Justice RD Dhanuka said Rane’s plea, which had claimed political vendetta behind the civic body order, was “devoid of merits and deserved to be dismissed.”

The bench also restrained the BMC from taking any coercive action against Rane, a BJP leader, vis-a-vis the Juhu bungalow for the same period of six weeks.

Rane approached the HC on Wednesday challenging the order passed by the BMC on April 7 rejecting his application for regularisation and retention of some portions of the bungalow, which, as per the civic body, were in breach of municipal and coast zone norms.

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The BMC, through senior counsel Aspi Chinoy, and advocate Joel Carlos submitted that Rane had made changes to open areas and converted them into usable, closed structures.

“The total plot area is 2,209 square metres. Rane has a lease for 1,187 of this 2,209. He was given FSI for 745 sq mts and he sought permission to build a property of 745 sq mts,” Chinoy said.

“However, the FSI used up today is 2249 instead of 745,” he told the court.

Advocate Sathe, however, argued that he had a right to claim extra FSI since he held the lease for 1,187 square metres of the plot.

He said the BMC rejected his application for regularisation because of the political rivalry between Rane and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
“This (rejection) is complete nonsense. The BMC officer who rejected the retention and regularisation application did so because his brief from the higher-ups was to reject owing to political vendetta, particularly because of my (Rane’s) tiff with the chief minister,” advocate Sathe said.

“You (Rane) shouldn’t be hounded. But you shouldn’t get a special privilege to violate the law either just because you are a politician,” Chinoy said.

The HC, however, said the BMC was right in not regularising Rane’s additional construction and changes made at the bungalow.

“Since the construction is totally unauthorised, a question of political rivalry between the Shiv Sena (headed by Uddhav Thackeray) and any other party being behind the BMC notices does not arise,” the HC said.

“The Supreme Court has held in several judgements that all applications for regularisation have to be decided only in accordance with the law. In the present case, the BMC cannot consider the entire plot for granting extra FSI when occupation certificate was granted for 745 sq metres of area only,” it said while dismissing the BJP leader’s plea.

(with inputs from PTI)

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