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Collector orders razing of Nirav Modi’s Mumbai bungalow – Times of India

MUMBAI: The Raigad collector has issued an order to demolish illegal sea-facing bungalow of fugitive businessman Nirav Modi on Alibaug beach, the state government told the Bombay high court on Thursday. As many as 58 other such constructions by locals on Alibaug beaches will also be razed.

The action is not related to the Punjab National Bank fraud, in which Modi is the accused, but dates back to 2010 when he was issued a demolition notice. Modi was permitted 376 sq mtrs in Kihim, but he constructed on 1,071sq mtrs—674 sq m in excess.

The high court was hearing heard a PIL by NGO Shambhuraje Yuvakranti against the state’s inaction against bungalows of celebrities and businessmen, including Modi, in the coastal regulation zone areas in Alibaug. Earlier in September this year, while directing an inquiry by the divisional commissioner (Konkan region) in respect of nearly 160 illegal constructions in Alibaug, the court had referred to Modi’s case “by way of illustration”.

On Thursday, government advocate Priyabhushan Kakade told a bench of Chief Justice Naresh Patil and Justice Makarand Karnik that Raigad collector Vijay Suryawanshi issued the demolition order on Wednesday after reviewing an earlier order in 2011 by the then collector.

The 2011 order came after Modi moved the HC challenging a demolition notice served on him. The HC had, on February 4, 2010, directed the sub-divisional officer (SDO), Alibaug, to hear him and pass a final order within 12 weeks. However, the SDO order came only on June 2, 2018, and it said Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority is the authority to decide whether there was CRZ violation and disposed of the matter.

Subsequently, the HC sought the collector’s explanation. On August 14, Suryawanshi replied that on March 3, 2011 the then collector had passed an order that Modi’s farmhouse existed prior to 1986 and was not in excess of original construction, so a question of removal did not arise. Then, the state told the HC that the present Raigad collector will review the 2011 order of the then collector.

On Thursday, the state submitted Suryawanshi’s affidavit, in which he said he has set aside the 2011 order and “directed to demolish the said illegal construction”.

When the bench enquired about other cases , Kakade said that in 61 cases the owners have obtained a stay or status quo orders from the Alibaug court and the state is “taking steps to vacate the stay in all matters.” Kakade said that in 58 other cases, there is no stay or status quo order and the constructions are “dwelling units of local communities.” “Within 3-4 days we’ll demolish,’’ he added. NGO’s advocate Uday Nighot said, “The action is being taken only against locals.”

Collector orders razing of Nirav Modi’s Mumbai bungalow – Times of India

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