The Bombay High Court today directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to hear and decide an application filed by a company owned by Union Minister Narayan Rane, seeking to regularise the alleged illegal alterations made in his bungalow in suburban Juhu.

A Division Bench of Justice Amjad Sayed and Justice Abhay Ahuja said once a decision is taken by the civic body, in case of any adverse order, no coercive or punitive action shall be taken for a period of three weeks thereafter.

The Court disposed of the petition filed by Kaalka Real Estate, which owns the bungalow, named 'Aadish'. Rane is a shareholder in the company along with his family members and resides in the house.

The petition had challenged notices issued by the BMC to the company, Rane and his family against alleged unauthorised alterations made in the bungalow.

The petition also sought quashing of the BMC notices (of February 25, March 4 and March 16, 2022) and the orders passed by a designated officer of the civic body, terming them as perverse, illegal and in violation of his fundamental rights.

Senior Counsel Milind Sathe, appearing for the petitioner company, argued that the BMC was not following the law in the present case and claimed there was no violation.

"The said bungalow was granted an Occupation Certificate by the BMC in January 2013. It has been occupied since then. Now suddenly, in 2022, all this action has been taken," Sathe said.

BMC's Counsel Aspi Chinoy alleged that there have been several illegal alterations in the bungalow.

The Court said if the regularisation application is filed, then it should be heard and decided.

The Shiv Sena-controlled BMC had issued notices to Rane and the company, directing them to remove the alterations made to the bungalow.

The civic body said if the alterations are not removed, it would be compelled to demolish the same and recover charges from the owner.

The first notice was sent on February 25, in the name of the owners/occupiers (Rane and family) to show cause how the alleged unauthorised additions/ changes in usage of the premises were not in contravention to the approved plans. Narayan Rane's wife Neelam Rane and son Nilesh Rane responded to the notice, alleging the malafide intention. The reply stated that the notice had been issued after nine years of completion of the building.

Following this, they were called for a hearing before a BMC officer.

Meanwhile, a second notice was issued on March 4. Simultaneously, the company also made an application for retention of portions of the premises alleged to be in contravention by making payment of Rs 8,790, as stipulated by the BMC.

The petition said that in the application, the company had clarified there was no contravention of any regulation and the entire premise was within the permissible FSI (floor space index) limit.

Despite this, the BMC's designated officer passed an order based on the first notice, directing the alleged unauthorised work to be removed from the premises within 15 days.

Thereafter, the second scheduled hearing also took place and the second identical order was passed.

Aggrieved by the issuance of notices and orders passed by the BMC, the company filed the present petition before the High Court.

With PTI inputs