bombay high court

Bombay High Court: In a petition under Article 226 of Constitution of India challenging Mahalunge-Maan Preliminary Town Planning Scheme sanctioned under Section 86(1)(a) of Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966 (‘MRTP Act') and the one prepared by the Arbitrator under Section 72(6) of MRTP Act, the Division Bench of G.S. Kulkarni and R.N. Laddha, JJ. found the instant petition to be premature since as per law, the petitioners will still get an opportunity of being heard once the scheme gets notified.

The 55 petitioners in the instant matter claimed that they were denied compensation of lands acquired for public purposes. The petitioners objected that the authorities prepared a scheme for the purposes of Section 61 of MRTP Act without considering their objections and suggestions, that there were discrepancies in the draft scheme regarding specifications of plot allotment, that the arbitrator ignored their grievances, etc.

The Court scrutinized Sections 60 to 95 of MRTP Act laying a complete mechanism/procedural formality to be followed for acquisition of land and subsequent part of the arbitrator. The Court clarified that the instant matter did not dispute award of compensation for land acquisition or acquiring private property for public use, which may otherwise be against Article 300A of Constitution of India. It further did not dispute the State government's power to set up Appeal Tribunal for Town Planning Schemes under Section 75 of MRTP Act.

The Court highlighted the facts that Pune Municipal Region Development Authority (‘PMRDA') had suggested changes/modifications to the draft town planning Scheme (Mahalunge-Maan) and that the said changes would substantially change the final plots and Scheme's assessment details requiring a new start of arbitration proceedings. The PMRDA had recommended creation of Appellate Tribunal on 20-05-2022 to which, the Director of Town Planning, MS stated to be established after draft Scheme was approved and published. Further, after approval of the draft scheme, the petitioners would get an opportunity to be heard by the arbitrator.

The Court noted that since the petitioners would have an opportunity to echo all their grievances as per law at the appropriate time even before the arbitrator, after notification of the final scheme. Therefore, the Court refrained from expressing its opinion on merits or issues in the instant matter. The Court regarded the instant petition as premature and disposed of the same accordingly.

[Chandrakant Uttam Kolekar v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 SCC OnLine Bom 1576, decided on 2-08-2023]

Judgment by: Justice R.N. Laddha

Advocates who appeared in this case :

For Petitioner: Advocate Madhavi Ayyappan

For Respondents: Assistant Government Pleader B.V. Samant, Assistant Government Pleader Rupali M. Shinde, Senior Advocate Rajiv Chavan, Advocate Vijaykumar Dhakane, Advocate Dinesh Adsule

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