The Mayor Municipal Corporation vs Govind Bajirao Navpute And Ors. on 17 April, 2020


Supreme Court of India

The Mayor Municipal Corporation vs Govind Bajirao Navpute And Ors. on 17 April, 2020

Author: Mohan M. Shantanagoudar

Bench: Mohan M. Shantanagoudar, R. Subhash Reddy

      C.As. @ SLP(C)No.25967 of 2016 etc. etc.
                                                           1

                                                                                REPORTABLE


                                          IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                                            CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                                           CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2237 OF 2020
                                        (Arising out of S.L.P.(C) No.25967 of 2016)


                         The Mayor Municipal Corporation                       …Appellant


                                                                 vs


                         Govind Bajirao Navpute & Ors.                         ...Respondents

                                                               WITH

                                            CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2240 OF 2020
                                        (Arising out of S.L.P.(C) No.26556 of 2016)

                                                               WITH

                                            CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2242 OF 2020
                                        (Arising out of S.L.P.(C) No.26559 of 2016)

                                                               WITH

                                            CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2239 OF 2020
                                        (Arising out of S.L.P.(C) No.26555 of 2016)

                                                               WITH

                                            CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2238 OF 2020
                                        (Arising out of S.L.P.(C) No.26554 of 2016)

                                                               WITH
Signature Not Verified

Digitally signed by
ANITA MALHOTRA
                                            CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2248 OF 2020
Date: 2020.04.17
15:26:07 IST
Reason:
                                        (Arising out of S.L.P.(C) No.26574 of 2016)

                                                               WITH
C.As. @ SLP(C)No.25967 of 2016 etc. etc.
                                                   2

                                     CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2243 OF 2020
                                 (Arising out of S.L.P.(C) No.26563 of 2016)

                                                       WITH

                                     CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2244 OF 2020
                                  (Arising out of S.L.P.(C) No.26566 of 2016)

                                                       WITH

                                     CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2241 OF 2020
                                  (Arising out of S.L.P.(C) No.26557 of 2016)

                                                       WITH

                                     CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2246 OF 2020
                                  (Arising out of S.L.P.(C) No.26570 of 2016)

                                                       WITH

                                     CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2247 OF 2020
                                  (Arising out of S.L.P.(C) No.26573 of 2016)

                                                       WITH

                                    CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2245 OF 2020
                                (Arising out of S.L.P.(C) No.26569 of 2016)

                                                       AND

                                     CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2249 OF 2020
                                  (Arising out of S.L.P.(C) No.33858 of 2016)


                                             JUDGMENT

R.SUBHASH REDDY,J.

1. Leave granted.

2. These civil appeals are filed, aggrieved by the judgment dated

5.8.2016 passed in Writ Petition No. 1981 of 2016, by the High Court of
C.As. @ SLP(C)No.25967 of 2016 etc. etc.
3
Judicature at Bombay, bench at Aurangabad. By the aforesaid impugned

judgment, the High Court has allowed the Writ Petition and quashed the

Notification dated 4.2.2016, by which draft development plan under

Section 26(1) of the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966

(hereafter “the MRTP Act”) was published. Further, the High Court has set

aside the order dated 29.03.2016 passed by the Director of Town

Planning, granting extension of time for submitting draft development plan

to Government. Further, it is held that the Planning Authority has failed to

perform the duty imposed upon it within the time frame as per the MRTP

Act, as such the remaining work relating to draft development plan shall be

completed by the concerned Divisional Joint Director or the Deputy

Director of the Town Planning and Valuation Department.

3. Before its conversion to Municipal Corporation, there existed a

Municipal Council for Aurangabad city and final development plan for

Aurangabad Municipal Corporation area was published in the year 1975,

and the same was revised from time to time. The Aurangabad Municipal

Corporation came to be established vide Government Notification dated

3.12.1982 w.e.f. 8.12.1982. At the time of establishment of the Municipal

Corporation in the year 1982, 18 villages were included in the Municipal

limits, which is an additional area forming part of the Municipal

Corporation. A development plan in respect of the additional area came to

be published in the Official Gazette on 15.10.1991. At a later point of time,

City Industrial Development Corporation Area (CIDCO Area) was also de-

notified and as a result thereof an area admeasuring 209.88 hectares
C.As. @ SLP(C)No.25967 of 2016 etc. etc.
4
came to be included within the area of Municipal Corporation. The

Declaration under Section 23 (1) read with Sections 34 and 38 of the

MRTP Act came to be published in the Official Gazette, declaring intention

to prepare revised development plan for an additional area i.e. de-notified

area of CIDCO, and newly added Shivaji Nagar Area on 7.2.2013. On

05.02.2013, the Town Planning Officer came to be appointed for the

purposes of preparation of development plan. After completing survey and

preparation of existing land use map as contemplated under Section 25 of

the MRTP Act, the planning authority, is required to prepare draft

development plan and publish notice as contemplated under Section 26 of

the MRTP Act, not later than two years from the date of notice published

under Section 23 of the said Act. Such notice was published on

04.02.2016. As per the second proviso to Section 26, as applicable to the

city of Aurangabad, the State Government is empowered to extend the

time not exceeding 12 months, in aggregate to prepare and publish the

draft development plan. Though the extendable period of 12 months

lapsed by 6.2.2016, subsequently an application dated 18.3.2016, seeking

extension of time was moved before the Competent Authority. On such

application, time was extended in two spells for an aggregate period of 12

months.

4. The draft development plan, notified by the Municipal Corporation of

Aurangabad on 04.02.2016, was questioned, amongst others, in the writ

petition bearing no.1981 of 2016 on several grounds. As several writ
C.As. @ SLP(C)No.25967 of 2016 etc. etc.
5
petitions were filed seeking similar relief, for the sake of brevity and

convenience we refer to the facts arising out of W.P. No.1981 of 2016.

5. It was the case of the writ petitioners that the said plan was not

prepared in accordance with provisions of Maharashtra Regional and

Town Planning Act, 1966; the said plan was not prepared and notified

within the statutory period; the delegated authority has no jurisdiction to

grant extension of time ex post facto; the said plan was tinkered by the

Mayor and councillors of the corporation. It was the specific case in the

writ petition that 361 public amenities prescribed in draft development

proposals were deleted; about 500 hectares of land covered by forest and

water bodies is converted to a no zone and the alignment of 22 roads were

changed etc. The relief sought in the writ petition was opposed mainly on

the ground that the development plan was at the stage of proposals and

was incomplete and inchoate and has to undergo the process provided

under Sections 28 and 31 of the MRTP Act. It is the case of the

respondents in the writ petition that ultimate development plan is to be

sanctioned by the Government under Section 31 of the MRTP Act.

6. The High Court while allowing the writ petition, in the impugned

judgment, has held that the statutory time limit prescribed under Section

26 of the MRTP Act is mandatory and Section 21(4A) of the MRTP Act is

applicable in respect of proceedings under Section 38 of the MRTP Act.

The High Court has further held that the Director of Town Planning, as a

delegated authority of the Government, did not have jurisdiction to extend

the time after the expiry of period of one year, in addition to prescribed two
C.As. @ SLP(C)No.25967 of 2016 etc. etc.
6
years’ period. Further the High Court has noticed that about 114

reservations sanctioned under previous development plan were directed to

be deleted and the large area around the Airport, which was maintained as

a green belt, was recommended under revised plan for commercial zone.

7. In view of the aforesaid findings and other reasons recorded in the

order, writ petition was allowed by quashing the notification dated

04.02.2016, issued under Section 26(1) of Maharashtra Regional and

Town Planning Act, 1966 and further declared the orders of the delegated

authority, extending the period as illegal, with a further direction that the

remaining work of preparation of the plan is to be undertaken by the

Deputy Director of Town Planning or the concerned Divisional Joint

Director, as the case may be.

8. We have heard Sri Harin P. Raval, learned senior counsel appearing

for the appellant in appeal arising out of S.L.P.(C) No.33858 of 2016, Sri

Gopal Shankar Narayan, learned senior counsel appearing for the Mayor,

Municipal Corporation; Sri Shivaji M. Jadhav, learned counsel for the

appellants in remaining appeals; Sri Vinay Navare, learned senior counsel

for the respondent-writ petitioner; Sri Rahul Chitnis, learned counsel for the

respondent-State; Sri A.P. Mayee, learned counsel for the Aurangabad

Municipal Corporation; and learned counsel for the impleading parties.

9. Having heard learned counsels on both sides and on perusal of the

impugned judgment and other material placed on record, we are of the

view that it is not a fit case to interfere with the impugned order under

Article 136 of the Constitution of India.

C.As. @ SLP(C)No.25967 of 2016 etc. etc.
7

10. The High Court, mainly on the ground that the Planning Authority

has not prepared a draft development plan within the time prescribed

under Section 26 of the MRTP Act, has allowed the writ petition with a

further direction that the competent authority shall undertake the remaining

work relating to preparation of draft development plan and submit to the

State Government for sanction. Though, elaborate arguments were

advanced, stating that the time frame fixed under Section 26 of the MRTP

Act is only directory and not mandatory and further prescribed period can

be extended as per the proviso, by entertaining an application even after

expiry of time etc., however, we are of the view that the said aspects need

not be gone into at this stage by this Court. Chapter III of the MRTP Act

deals with the preparation of development plan and as per Section 38 of

the MRTP Act development plan is to be revised at least once in twenty

years. For the preparation of development plan, or the revised

development plan, proceedings have to be initiated three years earlier to

its sanction by the Government. If the draft development plan is not

prepared and published in the Official Gazette, by the planning authority,

within the time frame, the competent authority as prescribed under Section

21(4A) shall exercise all the powers and perform all the duties of a

planning authority which may be necessary for the purpose of preparing a

development plan and submitting it to the State Government for sanction.

Section 21(4A) of the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planing Act, 1966

reads as under:-

C.As. @ SLP(C)No.25967 of 2016 etc. etc.
8
“Sec.21(4A) If at any stage of preparation of the draft
Development plan, the time fixed under sections 25,26
and 30 for doing anything specified in the said sections
lapses, the Planning Authority shall be deemed to have
failed to perform its duty imposed upon it by or under the
provisions of this Act and any work remaining to be done
upto the stage of submission of the draft Development plan
under section 30 shall be completed by the concerned
Divisional Joint Director or Deputy Director of Town
Planning and Valuation Department or an officer
nominated by him not below the rank of an Assistant
Director of Town Planning, as the case may be. The said
officer shall exercise all the powers and perform all the
duties of a Planning Authority which may be necessary for
the purpose of preparing a Development plan and
submitting it to the State Government for sanction and
may, notwithstanding anything contained in any other law
relating to the funds of the Planning Authority, recover the
cost thereof from such funds:

Provided that, the said Officer shall exercise all the
power and perform all the duties of the planning authority
within such period as may be specified by an order by the
Director of Town Planning, having regard to the stage of
preparation of Development plan:

Provided further that, the said period specified under the
first proviso shall not exceed the original period stipulated
under the relevant section.”

11. Further during the course of hearing, learned counsel appearing for

the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation and State of Maharashtra brought

to our notice letters dated 15.10.2018 and 15.01.2020 issued by the

Government of Maharashtra. In proceedings dated 15.10.2018,

Government of Maharashtra in exercise of power under Section 154 of the

MRTP Act has issued directions for preparing combined development plan,

for original area and for newly added area. The direction issued in the said

proceedings reads as under:-

C.As. @ SLP(C)No.25967 of 2016 etc. etc.
9
“If development plan of original area and increased area of
any Municipal Corporation/Nagar Parishads/Nagar
Panchayat/Special Planning Authority or any other
authority is due by the reason of completion of 20 years, in
that case before initiating revised development plan 3
years before completion of said period, if revised
development plan is prepared for entire area which comes
within the purview of planning authority then, proper
planning could be made and process of preparation of
future revised development plan will occur at same time.
Therefore, preparation of revised development plan for
entire area falling under the jurisdiction of planning
authority shall be made, though the date for part of the
revised development plan is different, and combined
development plan shall be prepared for entire area.
In the name and by the order of Governor of
Maharashtra.”

12. Government of Maharashtra, by referring to the earlier proceedings

dated 15.10.2018, has addressed a letter dated 15.01.2020 to the

Commissioner of Aurangabad Municipal Corporation. In the aforesaid

letter, the Government has issued instructions to the Commissioner, to

prepare a new combined development plan for original and extended limits

of Aurangabad city. The relevant portion of the said letter reads as under:-

“However, considering complete area of Planning
Authority with a view to make better planning of
development scheme proposals while revising the
Development Plan, the Government has issued directions
on 15.10.2018 as per Section 154 of Maharashtra
Regional and Town Planning Act 1966 to prepare
combined Development Plan for original and extended
limit.

Considering the period of Development Plan period of
original limits of Aurangabad city and the directions issued
by the Government as above,further action may be taken
by the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation in regard to
prepare new combined Development Plan for original and
extended limits of Aurangabad city.”
C.As. @ SLP(C)No.25967 of 2016 etc. etc.
10

13. In this case, it is to be noted that proceedings were initiated in the

year 2013 for revising the draft development plan and for one reason or

the other, the proceedings remained at the stage of preparation of draft

development plan. In view of the directions of the High Court, the said

plan is yet to be prepared and is to be submitted to the Government for

sanction. In any event having regard to communication/letter dated

15.01.2020 a fresh combined development plan for original and extended

limits is to be prepared for Aurangabad city.

14. In view of the further developments, as indicated above, and having

regard to findings recorded in the impugned order that huge variations are

made by the planning authority while preparing the draft development plan,

we find no reason to interfere with the impugned judgment. Accordingly,

these civil appeals are dismissed, with no order as to costs.

..……………………………………….J.

(MOHAN M. SHANTANAGOUDAR)

..……………………………………….J.

(R. SUBHASH REDDY)

NEW DELHI;

April 17, 2020



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