Priyanka Kakodkar| TNN | Jul 3, 2017, 03.31 AM IST
MUMBAI: The state’s law and judiciary department has strongly opposed housing minister Prakash Mehta’s attempt to change the law to help regularise illegal occupants of SRA buildings.
Last year, Mehta had tried to stay the eviction of illegal residents in SRA buildings until the completion of a survey, by giving an assurance in the assembly. However, officials in both the law and judiciary and housing departments had opposed it, saying it would violate a court ruling.
In November, Mehta had suggested issuing an ordinance and amending the law to allow for regularization. “Given the large number of people affected, the government should issue an ordinance allowing for regularization after a penalty,” he wrote to the housing department.
It is necessary to make a law so that no action is taken against tenement dwellers till the ordinance is issued,” says a note written by Mehta to the housing department.
According to the existing rules, tenements allotted under the SRA scheme cannot be transferred for a period of 10 years. After that period, the permission of the SRA is needed before the transfer.
After Mehta’s stand, the housing department proposed amending the Maharashtra Slum Areas (Improvement Clearance and Redevelopment) Act 1971. It proposed that the CEO of SRA be allowed to permit allottees to sell or lease their tenements before the 10-year period. It also proposed that this amendment be allowed with retrospective effect.
The state’s law and judiciary department has given a strong rebuttal to the proposed amendment. “It is an instance of excessive administrative delegation to an executive authority. The measure as proposed is unguided and prone to abuse. It also betrays an attempt to overreach judicial orders passed to achieve the object of the Slum Act,” says a noting from principal secretary (law and judiciary) N L Jamadar on the proposal. TOI has a copy of the document.
“The proposal does not commend itself in the present form. The housing department would be well advised to seriously consider these observations,” he adds.
Other law department officials also opposed the amendment. “The object of the Act is to make better provision for the improvement and clearance of slum areas and for their redevelopment. Therefore it may not be legally feasible to make such provisions as it may defeat the objects of the Act,” says a note from the law and judiciary department.
The department also opposed allowing the amendment with retrospective effect. It pointed out that after high court orders in 2015, the state had been directed to initiate criminal proceedings against unauthorized occupants of SRA buildings as also officials who had colluded in such activity. “The retrospective effect would affect such criminal proceedings and as such it is not legally feasible to amend the Act with retrospective effect,” the law and judiciary department’s note said.
Mehta was unavailable for comment. Currently, a cabinet sub-committee headed by him is examining the policy on the sale and purchase of SRA tenements and unauthorized occupants of transit camps.
Original Link : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/law-dept-says-no-to-mins-bid-to-save-illegal-sra-tenants/articleshow/59416456.cms