The Bombay High Court observed that the fundamental rights of the senior citizens in respect of their entitlement of a shelter cannot be taken away due to a failed or delayed redevelopment.

The Court was dealing with a writ petition filed by an aged woman who was a member of Navin Manju Co-operative Housing Society Ltd. and her flat was vacated in the year 2019 on the ground that the building would be taken by the society for the re-development.

A Division Bench comprising Justice G.S. Kulkarni and Justice Firdosh P. Pooniwalla said, “Prima-facie we find substance in the contention as urged on behalf of the Petitioner that Senior Citizens cannot be left to suffer to be roofless at the last stage of their life on any delayed or impossible redevelopment. The Court, in these circumstances, would not be powerless to issue an appropriate writ under Article 226 of the Constitution of India so that the fundamental rights guaranteed to the Senior Citizens in respect of their entitlement of a shelter in their twilight years cannot be taken away under the garb of a failed or delayed redevelopment making them to irreparably suffer. They need to be protected.”

The petitioner named Jayashree Dilip Dholi appeared in person while Addl. G.P. M.P. Jadhav appeared for the State.

In this case, the petitioner’s contention was that the respondent- M/s. Square One Realty was appointed by the Society to undertake re-development but the proprietor of the said developer could not undertake the project as there were several proceedings and large recoveries against him.

She submitted that at such an old age, she was rendered roofless for last four years and her basic rights under Article 21 of the Constitution read with Article 14 were violated. She stated that she would be supported by six other members who were all senior citizens and were suffering due to majority members of the society, who, for some reason, appeared to be with the Managing Committee and hence, the same is illegal.

The High Court in view of the above facts said, “… before we proceed to pass any orders, Respondents are required to be heard. Accordingly, issue notice on the Petition to the Respondents.”

It, therefore, directed the Law Officer of the Municipal Corporation to depute an Advocate to appear in the proceedings for the concerned respondents and asked the AGP to inform the Advocates for the Municipal Corporation.

Accordingly, the High Court adjourned the matter.

Cause Title- Jayashree Dilip Dholi v. The Deputy Registrar of Co-operative Housing Societies & Ors.

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