The builder moved the Supreme Court to challenge the high court’s order.
On Friday, the Supreme Court frowned on alleged collusion between officials of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and the developer and said: “We are prima facie of the view that this is a fit case wherein the high court also ought to have considered directing inquiry into the affairs as to how the property, which was acquired for expansion of Nair Hospital, could be permitted to have been used for personal gain of a private individual.”
Finding itself in a spot of bother, the realtor, through senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, told the Supreme Court that the petitioner is ready and willing to vacate the premises, allegedly encroached upon, and hand it over to the municipal corporation within a time-frame fixed by the Supreme Court.
But the Supreme Court issued notice and posted the case for hearing after four weeks. “…Let the status quo of possession as of today be maintained by the parties until the next date of hearing,” the Supreme Court bench ordered.
The land, originally owned by Hindustan Spinning and Weaving Mills Limited, had been acquired by Brihanmumbai Municpal Corporation in 1982 for the civic-run Nair Hospital.
In March 2013, the municipal corporation had permitted the builder to occupy almost 5,000 sq ft as a licencee of godowns and changed the permitted ‘land use’ category and let him construct an office building in which he has his office.
That year itself, one Imran Qureshi had petitioned the high court against the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.
The builder has occupied the premises for 14 years, the high court bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice M S Karnik had noted while censuring the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation for its “sheer apathy” to get back the premises and hand it over to the municipal hospital so that it could be used for public purposes.