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HC summons municipal commissioner over non-compliance of order

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Irked by non-compliance of court orders by municipal authorities, the Bombay High Court has directed Mumbai civic chief Ajoy Mehta to appear before it on Thursday.

The order was passed by vacation judge Justice S J Kathawala on Tuesday while hearing a petition filed by tenants of Bhatia Building, a century-old structure in south Mumbai, against four landlords.

The tenants alleged that the landlords were carrying out unauthorised construction on the ground floor which had damaged the buildings foundation beams.

After the building developed cracks in March, the tenants moved the court.

Last month, the landlords assured the court that they would not carry out any further work, and would repair the damage caused to the foundation.

The petition had also claimed that excavation work on a plot behind the building was also causing cracks.

The high court then directed that a committee of experts from the municipal corporation and the state housing agency MHADA should visit the building and ensure that no excavation work was carried out.

The court asked the committee to submit a report on May 22.

However, the court was informed that excavation work on the plot was still going on.

The revelation invited the courts wrath on the municipal body.

The authorities were putting tenants lives in danger, Justice Kathawala said.

“This is the manner in which the corporation functions and this is the respect and regard that higher officers of the corporation display towards the orders and directions of the court,” the high court said, asking municipal commissioner to be present tomorrow.

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