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Sunil Balakrushna Telang Vs. State of Maharashtra and Ors. - (High Court of Bombay) (01 Nov 2018)

State Government had no jurisdiction and authority to convert a statutory appeal in a representation and issue directions



The Petitioner is the owner of plots carved out in a private layout within the municipal limits of Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation ('municipal corporation'). In present proceeding under Article 226 of the Constitution, the Petitioner is aggrieved by the decision of the Hon'ble Minister for Urban Development Department, Government of Maharashtra, as communicated by a letter dated 28th September, 2016 of the Under Secretary of Government of Maharashtra. By the impugned decision, the Hon'ble Minister while rejecting the statutory appeal as filed by Respondent No. 3 against the rejection of his development permission, converted the said appeal into a representation and has issued certain directions which has enabled the municipal corporation to reconsider the rejection of the development proposal of Respondent No. 3 and grant Respondent No. 3 a development permission.

The only question which falls for consideration is 'whether the Hon'ble Minister was justified in taking the decision as contained in the impugned communication dated 28 September 2016, when the statutory appeal of Sahyadri under Section 47 of the Maharashtra Regional And Town Planning Act, 1966 (MRTP Act) was itself dismissed being barred by limitation, and whether it was permissible for the Hon'ble Minister to treat the statutory appeal as a representation and pass orders thereon.

Section 47 of the MRTP Act provides for a remedy to a person who is aggrieved by an order which may be passed by the planning authority, either granting conditional development permission or refusing permission for development. Section 154 of the MRTP Act cannot be read to confer any jurisdiction/power on the State Government to convert its appellate jurisdiction under Section 47 of the MRTP Act by treating the appeal as a representation so as to pass an order, alien to Section 47 of the MRTP Act or any other orders which the State otherwise can legitimately pass under Section 154 of the MRTP Act.

The State Government has clearly exceeded jurisdiction vested in it as the Appellate Authority under Section 47 of the MRTP Act in taking the decision as contained in the impugned communication dated 28thSeptember 2016. State Government had no authority, power and/or jurisdiction, under Section 47 of the MRTP Act while dismissing Sahyadri's appeal to convert the same into a representation and make directions thereon. The impugned decision/communication therefore, cannot be sustained. Consequent action of the municipal corporation on the basis of the impugned decision of the State Government also cannot remain valid. Petition allowed.


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