No stay on MHADA lottery; Bombay HC refuses urgent hearing on plea seeking reservation for Special Backward Class

The Bombay High Court has refused to pass any urgent orders on a plea seeking for the Special Backward Class (SBC) to be included as a reserved category in the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development (MHADA) lottery for housing allotments.

The petitioner, Deepal Shahu Shirvale, had sought that the lottery, to be declared on Monday, be stayed pending hearing of the plea or for the SBC to be included in the reserved category.

A division bench of Justices Gautam Patel and Neela Gokhale in their order on August 11 refused to pass any orders granting urgent interim relief on the plea, noting that there was no urgency.

MHADA’s advocate Uday Warunjikar opposed the plea and said the housing body has the power to frame rules and regulations.

He said there are 11 reserved categories at present and the SBC category is not one of them.

The bench while refusing any urgent relief observed the plea has not challenged the MHADA rules.

“We do not know how we can require the insertion of a special reserved category in an advertisement that otherwise follows the rules framed by MHADA absent a challenge to the vires of the Rule itself,” the court said.

“The petitioner will have to establish that there is a right to the inclusion of that category in the Rules and this will have to be answered on merits,” the bench added.

The HC also said the petition does not lend itself to an interim order of the kind the petitioner seeks.

It also ordered the petitioner to delete the names of the chief minister and housing minister as party respondents in the plea, noting they are unnecessarily joined.

The petitioner was at liberty to file an application challenging the rule, the HC said, adding the plea shall be heard in due course.

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