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BMC can't take Priyadarshini Park possession without due law: HC


Press Trust of India Mumbai
The Bombay High Court on Thursday said the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) cannot take possession of the 20-acre Priyadarshini Park in south Mumbai without following the due process of law.
Noting that there already existed a previous HC order to this effect, a bench of Justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre disposed of a petition filed by a resident association of the Malabar Hill area challenging an eviction notice issued to them by the BMC.
The bench took note of BMC's submission that the notice, issued in November last year, was "only a quick notice," and that the petitioners would be given a fair hearing as per municipal rules, before any coercive action was taken by the civic body.
Therefore, the petition had been filed "unnecessarily" and considering that the BMC itself was willing to follow due process before taking any coercive action, the petitioners' grievance against the notice did not survive, the court said.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by Malabar Hill Citizens' Forum, which looks after the upkeep of Priyadarshini Park, located at Napean Sea Road.
The BMC had recently terminated the agreement with the forum for maintaining the park on the ground that it had violated terms and conditions of allotment.
In its order, the BMC had directed the petitioners to vacate the park premises by February 1.
The petitioner, however, argued that the notice was bad in law since, without giving them a fair hearing as stipulated under section 105(B) of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, 1888, the BMC had already asked them to vacate the premises and warned them of coercive action.
BMC's counsel Anil Sakhre, however, told the bench that the "quick notice" was issued to ask the petitioner "why action must not be initiated against the association".
"A proper show cause notice will follow and the association will be given a chance to present its case," Sakhre said.

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First Published: Jan 31 2019 | 3:25 PM IST

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