Mumbai : Denying allegations of any illegality in the sale of 1,384 flats in Mumbai recently, as alleged by an activist, the Maharashtra Housing and Development Authority (MHADA) has told the Bombay High Court that it was well within its powers to sell these units.
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The state government had published an advertisement in November, announcing the sale of 1,384 flats in the city through computerised lottery.
The names of the winners were declared in December.
In a Public Interest Litigation, activist Kamlakar Shenoy has claimed the sale was illegal since the flats were covered under the state government’s Development Control Regulations.
He stated that the flats were meant to be allotted only to those residents whose houses were affected by the state’s several development and redevelopment projects.
The PIL is being heard by a bench of Chief Justice Naresh Patil and Justice N M Jamdar.
In an affidavit filed in the high court Friday, the authority told the court that of the above 1,384 flats, only 50 belonged to the redevelopment of cess buildings category, and that they had been transferred for sale in consonance with statutory rules.
The remaining flats had been constructed for the very purpose of sale via a draw of lots, it submitted.
Shenoy contended that a majority of the flats are the ones which were surrendered to MHADA by private developers in lieu of having redeveloped cess buildings that cannot be sold for commercial gains.
Rule 33(7) of Development Control Regulations mandates that developers, who take up redevelopment of old buildings in the island city, must hand over a few flats from their surplus area, and in return they get certain Floor Space Index incentives and other benefits, the PIL stated.
The MHADA, however, denied the allegations and argued that these flats were not covered under rule 33(7).
The housing authority said the plea was “confusing the obligations of the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) with those of MHADA”.
SRA serves as the planning authority of the Maharashtra government for all slum areas in the jurisdiction of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai.
“Of the said flats, only 50 transferred to MHADA from the cess projects. Remaining 1,334 tenements (were) constructed for the very purpose of this lottery,” the MHADA said.
“No irregularities have been committed in calling for the applications and going ahead with the draw of lots for the above flats,” it said, adding that the sale of flats via a draw of lots is well within its power.