Redevelopment benefit tied to area not income: Bombay Supreme Court | Bombay News

MUMBAI: It is the area occupied that determines the size of a refurbished apartment and not the occupant’s income, the Bombay high court has ruled in rejecting a petition which, if allowed, would plunge into “disarray and Peril” one of the biggest redevelopment projects undertaken in Mumbai. The petition was from six occupants of Samata Nagar in Kandivli (east), where the redevelopment plan involves a “colossal 2,18,865 lakh sq m and possibly more”.
“If one were to start on the basis of income, the whole redevelopment would collapse and be rendered unsustainable,” Judge Gautam Patel and Judge Madhav Jamdar said on February 10.
At least 48 old buildings are being redeveloped in Samata Nagar. The six occupants said that their building was in the middle income group (MIG) category, but that they occupied buildings of 18 m². Their lawyer Amogh Singh argued that the area under occupation does not matter in deciding whether an occupier is a MIG or a Low Income Group (LIG) and the only factor is income. He said that although the right of predecessor or ancestor may be of the MIG category depending on income, the allotment was 18 m². Singh said Mhada had accepted the building as MIG.
The state’s August 26, 2009 decision was to grant eligible LIG occupants 45 m² with a fungible FSI (floor area index) – an increase to 60 m². MIG occupants would get 80 m² with a corresponding increase.
The judges noted that the claimants were seeking to move from the 18m² LIG area to the right to the MIG area and wanted the original income classification of their ancestors and not the area in their occupation to be taken into account. “We are unable to accept this submission,” they said.
The judges said it is true that at the time of the initial assignment, income will determine the category, but in the redevelopment, it is the correspondence “area-area” and not “income-area” that is taken into account.
“The entire Samata Nagar redevelopment program is based on an area-by-area calculation,” they said.
Lead attorney Birendra Saraf, representing developer SD Corporation, and Mhada’s lawyer said there was a “serious dispute” over the building’s MIG classification. The judges said from Mhada’s report that it is clear that the applicants were allocated 60 sq m against their 18 sq m and this falls within the LIG category.
“The increase is quadrupled, but the petitioners want even more and they alone want even more,” the judges said.
With the petition dismissed, the judges said, “The petitioners must now leave.”

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