Sunday, January 30, 2022

Bombay HC stays AAI’s order to slash height of JVPD buildings

 Mumbai: The Bombay high court has held that the Airports Authority of India (AAI) prima facie has no authority to withdraw the no objection certificates (NOCs) granted for height of a building to be constructed in the upscale Juhu Vile Parle Development Scheme (JVPD).

It also said the revocation was retrospective and stayed via an interim order, a revised NOC that reduced the height to 37 metres from the original NOC that had permitted 57 metres.

The HC bench of Justices R D Dhanuka and SM Modak was hearing two separate petitions filed by Armaan Real Estate Pvt Ltd and Juhu Gitanjali Vastushilp Co-operative Housing Society Ltd to challenge AAI’s action.

Ashort grievance in these almost identical petitions was that after the AAI or Airports Authority of India granted them NOC for carrying out construction up to a particular height under provisions of the Ministry of Civil Aviation (Height Restrictions for Safeguarding of Aircraft Operations) Rules, 2015, the same authority—AAI--cancelled the earlier nod and issued a revised permission by “reducing the height substantially with retrospective effect.”

The HC, on considering the facts and hearing senior counsel Pravin Samdani and Veerendra Tulzapurkar for petitioners, said, “Prima facie, we are of the view that the (AAI and its General Manager (ATM) western region) have no power to cancel the earlier NOC permitting particular height and to substi- tute by another NOC with retrospective effect by substantially reducing the height permission already granted earlier.”

AAI counsel Ajay Khaire raised a preliminary objection to the petitions, saying the developers had the alternate remedy of filing an appeal against NOC. He sought time to file an affidavit. The high court gave him up to three weeks to file the affidavit and a rejoinder, if any, to be filed a week thereafter and placed the matter for priority hearing on February 24.

The HC, staying the revised NOC, however clarified that if the petitioners carry out any construction on the plots in question from the date of its order, it would be subject to its further orders at the next hearing.

30/01/22 Swati Deshpande/Times of India

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