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First issue notice,BBMP can’t straight away demolish buildings

BBMP can’t straight away demolish buildings built without obtaining approval for plan: Karnataka High Court. First issue notice, find out deviations from building bye-law parameters, consider for regularisation if no deviations from bye-law norms or on rectification of deviations.

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) cannot straight away demolish buildings that are put up without obtaining approval/sanction for building plan.

The BBMP, at first, will have to issue notice to the property owners besides ascertaining measurements of constructions about floor area ratio, setbacks, usage, etc., of the building put up without obtaining approval for the plan, the court said.

Later, the court said the civic body can consider regularisation of the buildings that are within the permissible limit in terms of the Building By-Laws, 2003, by granting approval for the plan after levying fee for constructing building sans obtaining approval and penalty on property tax. The court made it clear that the BBMP will have to take action for demolishing such buildings only if the owners fail to alter the building to bring it in conformity with the by-laws.

Justice Suraj Govindaraj issued these directions while allowing a batch of petitions filed by M. Chandrakumar and several other owners of sites in a layout formed by REMCO (BHEL) Cooperative House Building Cooperative Society Ltd, Bengaluru.

Option to owners

The court said that the BBMP will have to give an option to the property owners for regularisation of their buildings.

The main purpose of approval for plan before construction is to see that the approved plan is as per the parameters of the building by-laws to ensure that the constructed building sticks to the norms, the court noted.

“Essentially if one were to contend that the construction is illegal, unauthorised or violative of the sanctioned plan, what essentially one means is that the construction is in violation of the building by-laws since the sanction plan is required to be issued in conformity with the building by-laws,” the court observed.

“To put it differently, if the construction were to comply with the building by-laws but the construction were to be carried out without obtaining a sanctioned plan, it cannot be said that the construction is in violation of the by-laws. However, it could be said that the construction is illegal since no sanction plan has been obtained,” said the court.

In case of the petitioners, the court noted that they had built compound walls, for which no permission was required, and small sheds with tin sheet roofs to “protect their sites from encroachment” from certain persons, and the site owners had multiple rounds of litigations.

On the allegation of the petitioners that the BBMP officials “colluded” with some influential persons who are “attempting to encroach their sites”, and hence the officials were trying to demolish these small structures, the court said that officers or the BBMP itself “cannot be treated as a pawn or a stooge of private parties and act on their behalf.”

The court also directed the Chief Commissioner to conduct an enquiry into the allegation about collusion of the officials with certain private individuals.


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