The Bombay High Court has directed the state government to set up a special court within 12 weeks to try cases of illegal structures.
The HC was hearing a PIL filed in 2007 by Harit Vasai Sanrakshan Samiti, seeking demolition of illegal structures in Vasai, Thane. The court has also directed the state to set up a special task force (STF) to investigate cases of illegal structures and encroachments that have come up in the state over the past few years.
A division bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Suresh Gupte also extended the scope of the litigation to other regions in the State. “The court has directed the State to form a STF within 12 weeks. The PIL was earlier filed in connection with over a lakh illegal structures in Thane district. However, the court has directed the state to look at other regions, too,” said Uday Warunjkar, appearing for the litigants. The court was informed that in 2010, the authorities concerned had issued demolition notices to over three lakh structures in Thane district. Only 18,000 were demolished, the court was told.