Monday, November 28, 2011

Newly-passed impact fee law challenged in HC

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat high court on Monday issued a notice to the state government over a petition challenging validity of the newly introduced Impact Fee Law to regularize illegal construction — the Gujarat Regularisation of Unauthorised Development Act, 2011.
Petitioner Raj Prajapati requested HC to strike down the new piece of legislation on the ground that its provisions contradict the provisions of parent acts like Bombay Provisional Municipal Corporation Act and Gujarat Town Planning and Urban Development Act.
Prajapati’s counsel, Vijay Nangesh contended that by way of introducing regularization law, the illegalities get cured and it gives an excuse to the concerned officials not to supervise construction in their respective areas.
The lawyer also argued that this law encouraged disorderly development of cities, encouraged corrupt practices and affected public health and created pollution and traffic hazards. It has also nullified the steps taken by high court as well as the Supreme Court by way of issuing various directions to implement building by-laws and to curtail illegal construction.
Advocate Nangesh has contended that the same law was passed in 2001. Introducing the same legislation a decade later means that officials in the state have not performed their duty to supervise in order to avoid illegal encroachment. “It is an administrative failure, regulatory inefficiency and reflective of laxity on part of the authorities,” he argued.
The petition also claimed that most illegalities in urban areas are committed by builders and developers, but common people have to face problems when authorities act on court orders. It should be the builders who should be punished for irregularities committed.

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