Even as Eknath Shinde, the state’s former Urban Development Minister, was sworn in as Chief Minister of Maharashtra yesterday with the backing of the BJP, a PIL has been filed in the Bombay High Court by a BJP MP against alleged de-reservation of part of trust land. in Mumbai for development under DCR – 2034.
MP Ashish Shelar challenged a UDD notification dated March 12, 2021 and subsequent corrigendum sanctioning the alleged de-reservation/and or modification, proposed by Bai Avabai Petit Parsi Girls Orphanage at a prime plot in Bandra, Mumbai.
In 1913, the Bai Avaibai Framji Petit Girls’ High School was established on the property by donor Bai Hamabai Framji Petit after she sold her ornaments and established a Parsee girls’ orphanage in memory of her mother. The plot was subdivided for various public purposes and reservations in the 1991 development plan and the draft 2034 development plan, as of 2016.
Subsequently, 2.2 acres were cleared for development, according to a Times of India report cited in the petition. Reservations for a municipal market with retirement home and student hostel, playground/garden have been deleted and some other reserves like primary/secondary school (in addition to JP Petit) are relocated, according to the petition.
The deputy alleged that orphanage trustees colluded with state officials to remove the reservation and are siphoning off trust properties for private gain.
“Arbitrary and unlawful actions by state authorities, Bai Avabai Petit Parsi Girls Orphanage and KBK real estate agents, land set aside for public benefit is unlawfully de-set aside and/or altered, causing serious and irreparable loss to the public at large and to prevent the illegal siphoning off of the properties/assets of the Bai Avabai Little Parsi Girl’s Orphanage”, the plea says.
He adds that the authorities, without thinking, and at the request of the Orphanage and KBK Realtors LLP, have de-booked or modified the reservations proposed in the draft development plan, which has the effect of “reducing the land reserved for public facilities and to create the possibility for individuals to exploit land previously reserved for public facilities, for personal commercial purposes.
Prior to the removal of the reservation, the UDD failed to properly deal with Shelar’s objections from August, September, October and December 2018, the MP alleged. He added that the state authorities (Department of Urban Development) are the guardians of the property and it is their duty to ensure that the land is not needed for the purpose for which it was intended. been booked.
“The petitioner has reason to believe that these moves and deletions of reservations were carried out clandestinely to help the builder to exploit the property commercially.“
Significantly, Shelar said the orphanage received a huge sum from KBK Realtors LLP, without permission from the Charity Commissioner, so the agreement between the two is null and void. The commissioner is required to ensure that the sale is in the interests of the trust and that the funds are not misappropriated.
Therefore, Shelar requested that all documents related to the transaction be produced in court and subsequently instructions to the Charity Commissioner to open an investigation against the orphanage.
In the meantime, the Shelar has asked the BMC not to process any development permissions on the land and to suspend the notification and corrigendum.
Shelar is represented by attorney Abhishek Salian and Saket Mone of Vidhii Partners and the motion was filed in February 2022. It was listed before the bench headed by the Chief Justice yesterday but could not proceed due to of lack of time.