​Worli residents to ask HC to quash eviction notices

Written By Unknown on Senin, 29 April 2013 | 22.23

In a last-ditch effort to save their apartments from BMC demolition, 140 families in Worli's upscale Campa Cola society will file a petition on Monday in the Bombay high court to seek the quashing of the municipal corporation's 48-hour eviction notices. They will move the court at 11am, the same time as when civic officials are expected to enter the society premises under police protection with bulldozers.

The BMC's eviction notices, which were issued on Friday, will be challenged on the grounds that they denied the families "the basic right to exhaust all legal remedies available to them to avert the demolition". The residents of the 140 flats on the 35 illegal floors of the society's seven buildings had on April 1 filed a review petition in the Supreme Court against its February 27 judgment. In that verdict, the apex court had cleared the razing of all storeys above the five legal floors in the seven buildings.

The residents will plead in the HC petition that the notices to evict within 48 hours flats that were occupied for over 25 years were "draconian" and "opposed to any democratic process or principle of justice and fair play".

The petition will underscore that the society has among its residents senior citizens, patients and children —all of whom have no second homes to go to. Further, it will challenge section 488 of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, under which the eviction notices were issued.

"This section does not contemplate eviction in such a hasty and unreasonable manner. It states that the commissioner or general manager can enter any building or land... in order to make an inspection... to execute any work authorized by this Act," said a legal eagle representing the affected families.

On Sunday, the society's affected residents staged a peaceful march to Worli Seaface for the second consecutive day. Meanwhile, resigned to their fate, some summoned movers.

Families said they have received information that the BMC may not demolish complete flats on Monday but may make them inhabitable by breaking down doors, kitchen platforms and toilets. Vidya Srinivas, a resident of Midtown building's 19th floor, said she has not received an eviction notice, but "those living on floors six to 18 of the building have". "Is the civic body considering creating a hawa mahal by first demolishing the floors below mine," she said.

Devyani Tibrewala, a resident of the 12th floor of Orchid Apartments, said, "I don't know what to starting packing. There are women, senior citizens and children crying. It feels like a war, where you leave things behind and do not have a place to go to."

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