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SC no to injunctions on demolition of unauthorised structures

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, May 9 (UNI) The Supreme Court has ruled that granting temporary injunctions against demolition of unauthorised constructions merely on the grounds of sympathy and hardships would be to encourage and perpetuate an illegality.

The ruling of the court came on a petition filed by tenants who were inducted as tenants in Moonim compound- 33 unauthorised shops built in Greater Mumbai by M/s Global Marketing who had bought it from Abdullabhai Faizullabhai Private Ltd.vide deed of assignment dated Sept. 21,2000 for a consideration of Rs. 18 lakhs on 'as is where is basis'.It was the sole responsiblity of the assignee to obtain tenancy /occupancy /possessory rights of the assignor in respect of the said property and to continue to use and enjoy the said property and to continue to use the on terms and conditions CPWD may stipulate.

Global Marketing built 33 shops in the shed of the premises and Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai issued notice dated May 13,2003 for removal of unauthorised constructions. Tenants of the shops sent a reply to the demolition notices.The commissioner of Municipal Corporation vide order dated Sept. 2,2003 ordered that unauthorised construction be removed within 15 days failing which it would be demolished.

The tenants filed seven suits and the city civil court granted injunction against demolition.

Corporation filed appeals against the order of injunction and high court vide order dated Feb. 21,22,2005 set aside the order of temporary injunction.

The petitioner tenants Seema Arshad Zaheer and others challenged the Bombay high court order in the apex court.

A bench comprising Mr. Justice S.B. Sinha and Mr. Justice R.V.

Raveendran vide judgement dated May 5 while upholding the high court judgment observed,"It is true that in cases relating to orders for demolition of buildings , irreparable loss may occur if structure is demolished even before trial and an opportuntity to establish by evidence that the structure was authorised and not illegal. In such cases where prima facie case is made out, the balance of convenience automatically tilts in favour of the plaintiff and temporary injunction will be issued to preserve status quo. But where the plaintiffs do not make out a prima facie case for grant of an injunction and documents produced clearly show that the structures are unauthorised, the court may not grant a temporary injunction merely on the ground of sympathy or hardship.

To grant a temporary injunction ,where the structure is clearly unauthorised and the final order passed by the commissioner (of the corporation) after considering the entire material directing demolition is not shown to suffer from any infirmity, would be to encourage and perpetuate an illegality." The court directed the petitioners to make alternative arrangements within 15 days while dismissing the appeals.


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