Mumbai Forest Land Case: Relief to Flat owners by Supreme Court

Relief to Flat owners by Supreme Court

Thousands can breath easily.

For 99.99% Indians a roof over the head is the ultimate sign of security. Houses are once in a life time purchases, with all life’s savings, sale of family jewellery, loans from friends and well wishers.

Many had thought their life savings has gone down the drain.

Such incidents should not happen again.

Extracts from HT report

PROVIDING SUCCOR to Greater Mumbai flat owners facing the demolition squad, the Supreme Court on Monday restrained the Maharashtra government from implementing a Bombay High Court order permitting it to pull down multi-storeyed buildings on huge tracts of land that were declared “private forests”.

Acting on a petition filed by the leading developers, Godrej&Boyce, Nanabhai Jeejeebhoy, Atithi Builders, Normal Lifestyle and Nirmal Developers, a bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan ordered a status quo till August 22, the next date of hearing. It, however, asked the builders not to create any third party rights in respect of flats built by them in the classified area.

The order was passed after Solicitor General G.E. Vahan- vati, on behalf of the Maharashtra government, assured the court that further action would not be taken as per the HC order that had held more than 9,000 acres of land situated within the municipal limits of Greater Mumbai as private forests.

Hundreds of residents and leading builders in Mumbai’s eastern and western suburbs in the Bhandup-Mulund-Thane and Boriv1i-Kandivli belts were adversely affected by the HC order The impugned judgment affects vast tracts of land aggregating to approximately 9,193 acres situated within the municipal limits of Greater Mumbai which have been developed over the past 50 years into resi- dential, industrial and commercial complexes.

Challenging the judgment, the developers claimed that the HC had failed to appreciate that the Government Gazette was not dated, signed, sealed nor despatched to them. Stating that it was necessary to establish that the lands possessed the natural attributes of a forest, the real estate companies said permission for nonforest activities and construction for residential apartments was granted to them several decades ago.

According to the petitioners, the land never en- joyed the character of a forest. The HC had dismissed about 19 petitions challenging the stop work notice issued to them by the Municipal Corporation. IT stated that construction activity was in violation of the Forest Conservation Act.


Details of SC verdict will need to be perused to see what is meant by non transfer to third party etc. However Govt. of Maharashtra cannot take demolition action.