Won’t compromise Centre’s interest for that of pvt Builders: HC on Illegal Structures near DRDO lab

The Bombay High Court has ordered the demolition of illegal structures in the vicinity of a laboratory run by the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), saying it won’t compromise the interest of the Union government for that of private builders.

The court was hearing a bunch of petitions challenging notices issued to them by the authorities to demolish structures built within 500 yards of the High Energy Materials Research Laboratory in Pune.

A division bench of Justices Gautam Patel and Kamal Khata on February 23 noted that any person who obtains an order from the court by suppressing information is not entitled to any relief, and such a petition is liable to be dismissed.

“We make it clear that under no circumstances will we compromise the interest of the Union of India and the Ministry of Defence for the interest of private builders,” it held.

The bench had on February 8 granted an interim stay on the notices. However, it was later informed by the authorities that the petitioners had obtained the stay order without giving proper details.

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The bench vacated its earlier order staying operation of the demolition notice and dismissed the petitions.

The court also imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on each petitioner, which would have to be paid towards any charitable purpose as directed by the Pune Municipal Corporation commissioner.

According to the authorities, the structures were demolished in November 2023, but they were again put up, following which fresh notices were issued.

The court noted that the defence authorities had been complaining about these illegal constructions since 2021.

The bench said the illegal structures shall be demolished forthwith.

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