BMC wants to fast-track over 60,000 litigations
Claims pending cases have risen over years due to slow disposal by courts
While records from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)'s legal department show as many as 66,168 pending litigations as of April 2012, the civic body's law committee is initiating measures to expedite their disposal.
According to data provided by the BMC's legal department, while over 30,000 of the pending cases pertain to small and petty matters, over 9,000 cases involving the BMC and currently pending in the city civil court pertain to alleged illegal constructions. "Most of these cases are temporary orders granted by courts asking the BMC to halt demolition activity as the residents or occupiers have obtained a stay. These cases are pending for years, leading to haphazard planning in the city and encroachment of open spaces," said a senior civic official from the civic body's law department.
Over 39,000 litigations involving petty civic matters, including encroachment and illegal construction, were filed in courts last year alone. The second largest number of cases — over 16,500 — are pending in the High Court. These include writ petitions and property tax disputes. More than Rs 6,000 crore of BMC revenue has been stuck in property tax litigation for the past few years. Additional Municipal Commissioner Rajiv Jalota said, "With the number of pending cases increasing every day, we have asked for dedicated fast track courts to dispose of the property tax cases of the BMC."
The civic administration has claimed that the number of pending cases has risen over the years due to slow disposal by courts.
A detailed report of the pending cases was prepared by the law department following a directive from former commissioner Subodh Kumar. The law department, which is currently short-staffed, will soon get 25 additional lawyers.
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