MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court supports BMC’s decision to issue an eviction notice for a Malad building deemed dangerous, giving occupants until December 31 to vacate. The court emphasizes the significance of structural integrity while upholding the eviction order, granting an extension but underlining the responsibility of occupants for the safety of life and property.

In a recent development, the Bombay High Court has affirmed the validity of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) eviction notice for a building in Malad, citing its classification as dangerous and unfit for habitation. The court, during its vacation bench session led by Justices Sharmila Deshmukh and S V Marne, ruled that the mere demolition of the building would not negate the alleged tenancy rights of the petitioners. Instead, they would be entitled to be inducted as tenants once the structure is reconstructed.

The BMC’s notice, issued on November 10, prompted the court’s decision, emphasizing the importance of structural integrity. The court granted an extension until December 31 for occupants to vacate, responding to a request from the petitioners’ lawyer. However, this extension comes with a crucial condition—the occupants must undertake full responsibility for any mishap that may cause danger or loss to life or property.

The legal proceedings were initiated by Panbai Gagri and others, challenging the November notice issued under Section 354 of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act 1888. The Ismail Baug building, located opposite Malad railway station, was flagged as dangerous, leading to the issuance of the eviction order.

The building, over 50 years old, underwent a structural audit earlier this year, and conflicting reports emerged regarding its safety. The court noted that the BMC guidelines do not exempt load-bearing structures from non-destructive testing (ND testing) for a structural audit. Despite conflicting opinions, the court emphasized that the petitioners could not be granted further opportunities for additional audits and upheld the BMC’s November 10 notice.

While affirming the eviction order, the court directed the BMC to measure each occupant’s area to safeguard their tenancy rights, if any, for induction once the building undergoes reconstruction. This decision underscores the balance between ensuring public safety and respecting the rights of the occupants in this legal dispute.

Follow and Connect with us: TwitterFacebookLinkedinInstagram