Put on hold property demolition, auctions: HC

Put on hold property demolition, auctions: Bombay High Court to civic bodies amid COVID-19 scare

The Bombay High Court on Thursday suggested civic bodies in Maharashtra to temporarily refrain from carrying out demolition or auction of properties as courts, which are often moved in these matters for relief, are currently working for limited hours due to the coronavirus outbreak.

A division bench of Justices S J Kathawalla and R I Chagla noted that in view of the situation created by the global pandemic novel coronavirus (COVID-19) - courts are taking up only urgent matters between 12 noon and 2 pm.

The bench noted that most of the urgent matters pertain to seeking restraint orders against municipal corporations from carrying out demolition, eviction and holding auctions of attached properties.

The HC was hearing a petition filed by a housing society against a demolition notice issued by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM).

"To prevent people who are aggrieved upon receipt of notices contemplating demolition/eviction and/or holding auctions of attached properties and are left with no option but to rush to courts, we have a suggestion.

"We suggest to the Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai as well as Commissioners of all Municipal Corporations in Maharashtra to consider issuing a general directive not to demolish, evict and/or hold auctions of attached properties for a specified period," the court said in its order.

The bench, however, added that if there are any extraordinary cases then the corporation concerned can move the appropriate court and obtain necessary orders.

The court said it would hear the matter further on March 31. 

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