Due permission must be obtained before revising a development plan: Bombay High Court

In order to move forward with the revision of a draft development plan, the said proposal must be reflected by the State under the provisions of the MRTP Act. A bench of S.C. GUPTE & MADHAV JAMDAR, JJ., while adjudicating the matter in M/s. Vedant Estate & Properties v. Chief Executive Officer, Pune Metropolitan Regional Development Authority & Ors., dealt with the issue of whether a planning commission can act upon a proposal to revise the draft development plan.

This writ petition challenges inaction on the part of Respondent, who is the planning authority in the case on hand, in issuing occupation certificate in respect of four buildings constructed by the Petitioner. It is the grievance of the Petitioner that instead of issuing the occupation certificate, Respondent has issued a communication, keeping the Petitioner’s application for occupation certificate on hold, purportedly on the basis of a stand taken by PWD, Pune that one of the four buildings is affected by a proposed district road. This communication was followed by an order, requiring realignment of the proposed road in the proposed development plan by pursuing the matter with PWD and only proposing a partial occupation certificate in the meanwhile. These communications/orders are also the subject matter of challenge in the present petition.

Neither in the impugned communications/orders of Respondent nor at the hearing held before this Court today, is Respondent in a position to point out any proposal of the purported district road either in a sanctioned development plan or even in a draft development plan published under the provisions of Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966 (“MRTP Act”). On the other hand, d from the record produced by the Petitioner before this Court is that the Petitioner had duly obtained all requisite permissions from various statutory authorities, such as a permission under Section 18 of the MRTP Act, N.A. permission, environmental clearance, etc. It is not disputed that based on these; a commencement certificate was duly issued by Respondent to the Petitioner for construction of all four buildings. The Petitioner, after completing construction in accordance with this certificate, applied for occupation certificate. At that stage, by its communication dated 16 September 2019, Respondent called for some compliance on the part of the Petitioner. It is also not in dispute that this compliance was duly made by the Petitioner. Two commutations were, thereafter, addressed by the Petitioner in that behalf to Respondent, namely, letters dated 22 October 2019 and 16 June 2020. Despite this compliance and its communication, Respondent, as noted above, has abstained and continues to abstain from issuing occupation certificate demanded by the Petitioner. The Petitioner having already complied with the applicable provisions of MRTP Act, including procurement of a planning permission from Respondent and having constructed buildings in accordance with this planning permission, Respondent cannot withhold issuance of an occupation certificate.

The Court upon considering the aforesaid facts directed respondent to issue occupation certificate and stated that; “Merely on the basis of a proposal such as this, neither a planning permission nor an occupation certificate, the developer having duly obtained the planning permission, could be withheld. Besides this issue, there does not appear to be any other objection to the occupation certificate sought by the Petitioner. It is not the case of Respondent that there is any non-compliance on the part of the Petitioner of any provision of the planning permission.”

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