HC allows AAP to amend PIL challenging MoU on land allotment
The Bombay High Court today permitted the Aam Aadmi Party to amend its PIL to challenge the MoU signed between BMC and MCA
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today permitted the Aam Aadmi Party to amend its PIL to challenge the MoU signed between the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and Mumbai Cricket Association over allotment of a land in suburban Kandivali.
The PIL filed in September last had challenged the allotment of land and the terms and conditions therein.
The petitioner today informed a division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sanklecha that while the allotment was made in February 2003, a MoU was signed between BMC and MCA on January 8, 2014.
“The MoU has been signed on the same terms and conditions that the petition had challenged. We would like to amend the petition and challenge the MoU,” a lawyer appearing for the petitioner said.
The bench allowed the amendment and posted it for hearing after four weeks.
According to the PIL, the land admeasuring 39,950 square metres was allotted to MCA for training of youngsters in cricket but the association was using it for commercial purposes.
Sharad Pawar, the then president of MCA had in February 2003 written a letter to the BMC seeking allotment of land in suburban Mumbai for organising coaching of youngsters in cricket.
The corporation wrote a reply immediately saying that it was considering allotting the plot to MCA and on February 10, 2003, the allotment was sanctioned on adoption basis whereby the MCA could only maintain, beautify and manage the plot and not construct anything except a store room and watchman chowkie.
In April 2004, the MCA sought the agreement to be converted to caretaker basis which would enable it to develop gymkhana, club, stadium, swimming pool, recreation ground and so on. This was granted in May 2005 and a caretaker agreement was executed on June 11, 2012.
“Open spaces are property of citizens and are being arbitrarily and manipulatively given away to organizations owned by politicians. There has been no application of mind while allotting the land to MCA.
Municipal plot cannot be given on lease, adoption or caretaker basis to any private party. The civic body has allotted a huge chunk of land on a mere request made by Sharad Pawar instead of calling for tenders,” the PIL alleges.