|DATE OF JUDGMENT|
22nd September 2023
Supreme Court India
|APPELLANT||Shirdi Nagar Panchayat.|
|RESPONDENT||Kishor Sharad Borawake|
|BENCH||Justice B.R. Gavai and Justice S.V.N. Bhatti|
There partially approving the petition submitted by the respondents/landowners challenging the notification, which had converted the respondents’/landowners’ land from a “no development/green zone” to a “residential/commercial zone,” subject to the appellant receiving 10% of the total land area as “amenity space” and 10% as “open space.”
FACTS OF THE CASE
A notification was released by the Maharashtra government in 2004.
It changed the respondents’ (landowner) property from a “No Development Zone” to a “Residential Zone,” with the condition that the Municipal Council get free of charge 10% of the property as required “open space” and 10% as “amenity space.” The Town Planning Authority granted the proprietors’ request for permission to develop their property after they requested it. The site was subsequently partitioned into several sections and sold again.
In accordance with the 2004 Notification, landowners reached an arrangement with the Municipal Council, transferring and delivering specific land for use as “open space” and “amenity space.” Also formally noted in the revenue records for the “amenity space” and “open space” they got was the Municipal Council.
In 2012, the Municipal Council issued a possession order for the aforementioned property. The landowners filed an application for a temporary injunction order against the Municipal Council and started a civil lawsuit to ask for a permanent injunction order. The trial court dismissed the temporary injunction, but the District Court maintained it on appeal. The landowners then brought a writ case against the Government Notification of 2004 before the High Court (HC). The High Court ruled that the delay rendered the landowners’ writ petition unmaintainable.
The HC further prohibited the Municipal Council from altering the “open space” and “amenity space” land uses, with the exception of those that benefit the owners of residential plots.
- Whether the court grant for the land development for commercial purposes or not?
CONTENTIONS OF APPELANT
The learned attorney argued that the High Court’s Division Bench committed a grave error by approving the plot holders’ writ petition. He claimed that the owners of the plots had also filed a writ case in 2018 to contest the government notification dated August 18, 2004. Therefore, it is asserted that the petition filed by the landowners was likewise subject to rejection.
CONTENTIONS OF RESPONDENT
It was argued that the High Court reached the considered conclusion that the ownership of the “open space” and the “amenity space” vests in the landowners/plot holders and as such, needs no interference, after carefully weighing the provisions of Sections 22, 33, and 37 of the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966 and the Development Control Regulations.
They further argued that the High Court had a right to rely on the ruling in Pt. Chet Ram Vashist (Dead) by LRs. V. Municipal Corporation of Delhi, in which this Court held that the Municipal Council could not impose the requirement that a portion of the land be surrendered while taking into account the pari materia provisions.
The appeal was rejected by the SC after it cited the 2016 ruling in Narayanrao Jagobaji Gowande Public Trust v. State of Maharashtra and Others, where the SC determined that a clause allowing the government to grant land development permissions for commercial purposes while also requiring the landowner to provide a portion of the land for public utility without charge should not be regarded as illegal.
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This Article is written by Prazzal Mohanty student of SOA National Institute of Law, BBSR; Intern at Legal Vidhiya.