HC restrains RIL utilising commercial component of project

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Mumbai, Oct 15 (UNI) Reliance Industries Ltd. today received a big setback when the Bombay high court today restrained it from utilising the commercial component of a Rs 1000 crore Exhibition cum Convention Centre project in the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), undertaken by the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA).

Ironically, the interim order was passed on a petition filed by Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications and Infrastructure Ltd (RCIL).

RCIL had moved the high court challenging the decision of MMRDA to award the contract to construct a Exhibition cum Convention Centre on a plot in F Block of the BKC on Build-Own-Operate and Transfer basis. The contract, which was in process since 1985 and which saw many Companies accepting bids only to give up later, was finally awarded to the RIL for Rs 1104.11 crore.

The contract had specific condition, saying that though FSI was permissible in the BKC area, the successful bidder would be permitted to construct upto 50 thousand Sq. Mtrs. for commercial purpose to raise required funds for the Convention Centre, to be constructed on balance area of 65 thousand Sq. Mtrs. But, after MMRDA executed leased deed in favour of RIL, the Mukesh Group company moved an application to the Chief Minister, saying that the Convention Centre Project was not viable commercially and requested him to grant additional FSI to make it viable.

The MMRDA accordingly granted additional FSI of 72,500 Sq. Mtrs. - 31,500 Sq. Mtr. for the Convention Centre and balance for commercial exploitation. This aspect of granting additional FSI after the bid process was over has also been under challenge.

Observing that it was a gross case of violation, a division bench comprising Justice S Radhakrishnan and Justice Roshan Dalvi today ordered RIL not to utilise or use commercial component of the additional FSI granted to it in the project.

The court admitted the petition and the matter will now come up for final hearing on November 28.


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