HC holds building owner criminally liable for stalling demolition
Bombay high court has ruled that owners of a dilapidated building in Bhendi Bazaar will be responsible for not only civil but also criminal liability if any untoward incident happens regarding their structure but also two adjoining buildings that result in loss of human life or property.
Owners of Vaprachawl are opposed to the demolition of the building, claiming its repairable. Mhada and SaifeeBurhaniUpliftment Trust (SBUT), which is undertaking redevelopment of the area, had approached court to pull down Vapra and adjoining Furniturewala and Khatija buildings before the monsoon, saying their condition was precarious.
A vacation bench of Justice Ajay Gadkari and Nijamoddin Jamadar restrained Mhada and SBUT from pulling down the structures till the next hearing on June 12, but said it was fastening responsibility for any mishap on the owners of Vapra. “We are inclined to clarify the extent of risk and liability of the (owners of Vapra),” said the judges. “We make it absolutely clear that in the event of any untoward incident, with respect to the three buildings resulting in loss of human life or limb or property, they shall be held responsible not only for civil liability but also for criminal liability, and nobody else will be held responsible for the same,” the bench said.