Published On : Thu, May 14th, 2015

UDD order of NOC for construction within 500 meters from prison needs review – VTA

VTA LogoSighting reasons of life safety & security of prisoners in various Prisons in State of Maharashtra due to new construction of high rise buildings in its vicinity, the State Government through Urban Development Department (UDD) has passed an Order exercising powers as conferred by the Sub-section (1) of Section 154 of Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966 bearing No. UOR-81/2013/Navi-11 dated 04.12.2013 originating out of Order passed by Hon’ble Judges in Criminal Writ Petition No. 3528/2011 (Ramesh Shivaji Upadhyay – Petitioner Versus the State of Maharashtra and others – Respondents) with WP No. 2761/2011, whereby any new building plan sanction for construction of building or reconstruction or addiction construction within 500 meter radius of Prison’s wall will have to obtain NOC from an Advisory Committee formed under this Order, till then no building sanction will be granted by the Planning Authority.

As per this Order by the State Government, Advisory Committee consist of The Collector, The Police Commissioner / Superintendent, The Deputy Inspector General (Prisons), The Assistant Director Town Planning and Head of Area Planning Authority in city having Municipal Corporation, Municipal Council & Nagar Panchayat.

Finding several ambiguities in this order by UDD, Tejinder Singh Renu, secretary of Vidarbha Taxpayers Association (VTA) appealed to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Justice of Maharashtra, Dr. Nitin Kareer – principal secretary UDD and M. A. Sayeed – principal secretary Law & Judiciary to intervene and make appropriate amendments in public interest. A copy of appeal was also sent to the Registrar General of the Bombay High Court.

Tejinder Singh Renu highlighted that in the said order by UDD, no objective criteria are laid down for the said committee to decide appropriate cases the said committee may take decision as per its whims and fancies. Likewise in the evolutionary process the pendulum of administrative law has swung from administrative to judicial approach and the said committee is fastened with duty to act judicially, however no judicial process can be complete in the absence of objective RULES framed for its consideration.

Renu also asserted that the present UDD order is also violative of fundamental right Article 14 of the Constitution – Equality before Law, as majority of buildings are already constructed and inhabited, so if such buildings already exist then why new building owners should suffer for any anticipated happening. Furthermore some criteria is required, building height, plot size, etc for approach before such committee, because in places like Nagpur, plots size on an average varies from 500 to 1000 meters, thus building height rarely goes above 15 meters. Therefore all plots coming under 500 meter doesn’t do justice and surely needs some clarity. There needs to be some table of distance & height for early disposal of applications or which building height at what distance is required to file application for NOC from such Committee.

And most important some time frame to decide any application before committee is required for time bound disposal of such application. Another important factor to be considered is that any prisoner who is in hit list could be shot or attacked on his way to court, hospital or place of crime scene during investigation; so making just few new building surrounding prisons to follow such order would hardly serve the purpose.


VTA requested State Government that if convinced by these submissions, kindly make necessary amendments in its Order dated 04.12.2013.