Want to evolve plan for tenants to secure potential costs in redevelopment cases: Bombay HC, ET RealEstate

September 14, 2023

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court, rejecting a tenant’s plea for more commercial space, said it proposes to evolve a scheme under which such tenants will first have to secure potential costs, including amounts payable to others who are out in transit rent, before it hears that petition or grants any interim relief.

“We find it utterly fantastic that any tenant in occupation of any premises in a city like Mumbai, where the price of land is more than the value of gold, should say – and should expect the court to believe – that the tenant did not know what area it was occupying and that it only came to learn much later that it actually had a tenancy of as much as a 1,000 sq ft more,” said a bench of Justices Gautam Patel and Kamal Khata in its September 8 judgment.

“…this is a city where entire families are forced to live together in no more than 100 sq ft or thereabouts. How a tenant running a commercial enterprise could be so totally unaware of the area under occupation is unexplained.” The judgment was made available on Wednesday.

The case is about redevelo-pment of a cessed building in Rangwala Compound, Byculla. Raj Bucket Factory (RBF), the tenant, through one of its partners Mohammed Pachorawala, petitioned the HC this year for directions to get 5,363 sq ft carpet area (4,755 sq ft of space it had as tenant along with 608 sq ft of mezzanine area) of commercial space in the new building.

The redevelopment project is by Godrej Residency, who took over from Neelkamal Realtors Tower Ltd.

Advocate Shriram Kulkarni, for RBF, said that documents available in 2012 and later a certification by BMC shows it occupied 4,755 sq ft of space, which the builder is now mandated to give. Senior counsel Sharan Jagtiani for Godrej said it is always possible for tenants to accept a lesser area than certified.

The controversy, said the HC, gave rise to “extremely curious happenings that are sought to be swept under the rug”. It noted that in 2004, there was a property battle before the HC between members of the Pachorawala family, and in 2008 on a plea by one member to surrender his property for redevelopment, the HC had noted that Neelkamal offered, in lieu, to give 3,750 sq ft of commercial premises in the new proposed construction on ownership basis free of cost.

In 2009, RBF withdrew a review plea in which it claimed it noticed a difference in the tenanted area. Now in 2023, the HC said that “unfortunately” it seems RBF wants to claim that despite the 2008 HC order it will not vacate the dilapidated transit building on the site.

An affidavit by Pachorawala this July, said that the builder had, for reasons best known to them, in 2008 not placed on record the correct tenanted area. The HC said the blame can’t be on the builder, adding that it couldn’t see could not see how it is even remotely possible for RBF to know when time has come to move out of the transit building, saying that it won’t shift unless it gets more space. The HC said, “no party may simultaneously ‘approbate or reprobate’.”

  • Published On Sep 14, 2023 at 08:50 AM IST

Join the community of 2M+ industry professionals

Subscribe to our newsletter to get latest insights & analysis.

Download ETRealty App

  • Get Realtime updates
  • Save your favourite articles

Scan to download App

Source link

Abhay Singh

Web Developer

Leave a Comment