The Bombay High Court on Monday told Union Minister Narayan Rane that laws permitting regularisation of illegal portions of a residential structure do not give license to a person for illegal construction.

A bench of Justice R D Dhanuka and Justice Kamal Khata asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to file an affidavit, explaining on which legal grounds can the civic body consider a second application filed by Rane for regularisation of portions of his bungalow in Juhu area here, after the BMC and HC last month rejected such plea saying the construction was "prima facie illegal."

Notably, the High Court on June 22 dismissed a plea filed by Rane challenging the BMC's refusal to regularise portions of his eight-floor residence.

Rane had claimed the civic body, controlled by Shiv Sena, rejected his regularisation application out of political vendetta. The BMC had argued that the minister flouted sanction plans and misused the Floor Space Index (FSI) for the bungalow.

Rane filed the second application earlier this month through Advocate Shardul Singh.

He claimed in this application that he was seeking regularisation of a smaller portion as compared to what he had sought previously, and under new provisions of the Development Control and Promotion Regulation 2034.

Singh also argued that Rane, "irrespective of his stature," was in the present case a mere individual asking that portions of his residence be regularised.

"The present case is of a person's residence. It doesn't affect a public space or endanger the public. I am not creating a commercial venture. I am not a commercial builder but a private person," Singh argued on behalf of Rane.

Singh further said Rane was willing to be subjected to supervision to ensure no rules were flouted during the regularisation.

This, however, prompted the bench to say, "The provision for regularisation of a private residential structure doesn't give one a license to construct illegally."

The BMC had out-rightly rejected Rane's first application for regularisation, saying the minister constructed 300 per cent over the sanctioned FSI.

On Monday, BMC's counsel Anil Sakhre told the Bench that the civic body will subject Rane's application to a set procedure before granting any permission.

"We will be scrutinising the application, raising queries, issuing Intent of Disapproval, compliance with the IOD requirements, and then the regularisation application can be approved," Sakhre said.

"As per regular course, once a party applies for regularisation, the court grants them protection for a limited period," he said.

The HC then asked the BMC to file its affidavit explaining the grounds for maintainability of Rane's application, and securing the consent of other housing societies on the said plot which will be affected by such regularisation.

The High Court asked the BMC not to take any coercive action against the bungalow until August 23, the next date of hearing.

With PTI inputs