Right to Live In a Safe Building- Facet of Article 21: Bombay HC

Bombay HC Observes Intrusion In Academic Matters Amounts To Judicial Over-Reach & Stepping Into Domain Of Other Organs Of State

The Bombay High Court has taken suo motu cognisance of a building collapse in Bhiwandi town of Maharashtra’s Thane district and initiated a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), seeking reply from all the Seven Municipal Corporations in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), including BMC, and the State Government.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G. S. Kulkarni has said:

We are making the state government and all related municipal corporations parties. The municipal corporations would include Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Bhiwandi-Nizampur, Kalyan-Dombivali, Thane and Navi Mumbai municipal corporations as well.”

The three-storey building in Bhiwandi powerloom town, located on the outskirts of Mumbai, crashed on Monday.

The Bench was hearing a matter concerning construction in the jurisdiction of Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation when it made the observation about the tragic Bhiwandi building collapse where around 40 people lost their lives. 

The replies have to be filed in two weeks, the High Court said, while taking suo motu  cognisance of the incident and directed Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni to ensure the state and the civic bodies filed their replies to the notices. “We are of the prima facie opinion that the right of the citizens to live in safe buildings and environment would be a facet of the right guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution of India and it would be the duty of the civic bodies to bring about a situation that all buildings within their respective municipal jurisdictions are legal, sustainable and safe,”  noted the High Court.

The Court has fixed the matter for hearing on October 15. There have been cases of unauthorized construction and tenants occupying structures despite evacuation notices in Mumbai.

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