Total 35 shops on Abhyankar Road to be demolished after SC removes all legal hurdles
Nagpur: Following the Supreme Court paving the way for construction of Glocal Mall in Sitabuldi by removing all legal hurdles, a squad of Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) led by Manohar Patil, In-Charge of Enforcement Department, started bulldozing a number of shops along Abhyankar Road. Total 35 shops situated on the left of Abhyankar Road from Variety Square to Munje Square. A large posse of police has been deployed at the spot to help NIT’s demolition squad and avert any untoward incident as well. Strict vigil is being maintained to thwart hurdles in bulldozing of the shops.
However, one of the affected shopkeepers flayed the NIT’s action of demolition of shops. He said that in 2002, the Supreme Court had ordered “Compromise Pursis.” Meaning of pursis in legal terms is written statement /information given to the court pertaining to any matter pending before it which may include information/ facts/ joint statement/ compromise/ settlement/ no instruction from a party etc with the intent to put the same before the court for its consideration in any proceeding. For instance the party can file a pursis and inform that there is out of court settlement and hence it wishes to withdraw the suit or in the alternative the terms of compromise are documented, thereby requesting the court to pass a consent decree. The shopkeeper further said that 3-4 meetings with the builder were being held daily on the rate and alternate place for the shopkeepers and other important aspects. The builder was ‘keeping busy’ the shopkeepers with glib talks. And now suddenly, the NIT squad descended and started demolishing the shops, he claimed.
The Supreme Court, in one of the paragraphs of its ruling has noted that “However, it is observed that to the respective original writ petitioners shall also be given the samer treatment as would be available to other tenants as agreed before this court and/or as per the settlement entered into with other tenants.”
On January 22, 2019, the Supreme Court had set aside the orders of Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court dated September 16, 2016 and removed all legal impediments in construction of Glocal Mall in the heart of Sitabuldi. The Apex Court while allowing the Special Leave Petitions (SLPs) filed by landowners Buty family, Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT), developer Goel Ganga, and Abhyankar Road shopkeepers, upheld their major argument that Buty Mahal Street Scheme had merged into subsequent Development Plan and hence NIT was right in approving the layout plan.
The Apex Court had noted the inordinate delay in completion of the scheme and opposition of only 18 shopkeepers to entire project. The Supreme Court also noted anxiety of Abhyankar Road shopkeepers, who are in a lurch due to this legal battle, and totally disagreed with stance taken by the High Court virtually quashing the sanction to project. The Supreme Court has held that in case of a conflict between the Development Plan and the Town Planning Scheme, the Development Plan shall have supremacy over the scheme.
Earlier, the High Court had held that 15 mtr internal criss-cross road connecting Abhyankar Road and Sitabuldi Main Road ‘vital to decongest Sitabuldi’ and layout plan sanctioned by NIT and building permit were contrary to Buty Mahal Street Scheme. All the stakeholders had claimed that the scheme had merged into sanctioned Development Plan and it was wrong to accord primacy to the old scheme to make subsequent developments redundant.
The High Court order was a major setback for the mega commercial complex spread over 8-acre land belonging to Buty family in the heart of Sitabuldi. The developer had promised to accommodate big retailers, existing shopkeepers and even hawkers along with earmarked parking for 1,500 cars, 1,800 two-wheelers, and 1,800 bicycles to revive the sagging fortunes of market, but faced stiff resistance from Sitabuldi shopkeepers.
The High Court had allowed petition filed by 18 prominent shopkeepers and professionals of Sitabuldi challenging the demolition notices issued to them by NIT, and held that impugned notices were based upon the sanctioned plan and the building permit, which did not contain the provision for internal road.
In its special leave petition before the Supreme Court, NIT had strongly justified the construction of Glocal Mall as per sanctioned plan and stated that State Government on the request of land-owners agreed for making entire area of Buty Mahal as one single reconstituted plot to enable them to accommodate the tenants. Responsibility of making adequate arrangement for parking and widening of road was left to land-owners. The tenants in whose interest the entire scheme came to be modified have no right to insist upon the internal roads proposed in the scheme in 1964, since the reconstituted plot was in the interest of one and all.