By way of an ad-interim relief to Marathwada Mitra Mandal, Justice R D Dhanuka of the Bombay high court recently stayed the Mumbai collector’s move to take over the 11,000 square metre property of the trust in Bandra East.

The Mumbai collector had on February 26, 2018 ordered to take back the prime property, currently mired in controversy. Subsequently, the additional commissioner, Konkan division, on March 19 rejected the trust’s application, without citing any valid reason, seeking stay on the collector’s order.

The Marathwada Mitra Mandal, Mumbai trust, through its president Khushalrao Bhaura Patil, then approached the high court through lawyer Yuwaraj D Patil, seeking to quash and set aside both the orders.

The petition has also sought to seek records and proceedings of entire procedures, on the basis of which both the officials issued the orders.

While placing the next date of hearing on the writ petition on May 2, the high court on March 26 stayed the collector’s order from being implemented.

The trust, formed in 1966 with the objective to raise college and educational institution and hostel facilities in Mumbai for students preferably from Marathwada, was allotted 11,000 sq m of land in Bandra East (Survey No. 341) in 1981, said the petition. The government had transferred the occupancy rights of the land to the trust in May 2009 in lieu of Rs 11.82 crore.

The petitioner also pointed out to the court that then then president of the trust, Shivajirao Patil Nilangekar, had filed an application with the charity commissioner in a bid to create third party rights in the plot. However, the current secretary (Mohan Deshmukh) and other office-bearers strongly objected to the move as the then president had not taken consent of the trust members or the executive committee, nor convened a general body meeting.

The petition said that to prevent Nilangekar from furthering his illegal action involving the trust property, the secretary and other office-bearers made a representation to the chief minister on December 15, 2015.

The representation was forwarded to the Mumbai collector on March 9, 2016 by an under secretary asking him to submit a report. The petitioner had also made a representation to the collector, pointing out that then president (Nilangekar) took unilateral decisions, without taking into confidence and without taking permission of the executive committee of the trust committed malfeasance and misdeeds in respect of the trust property.

However, the petition said that instead of following the direction by the government, the collector assumed larger jurisdiction and issued notice of hearing dated September 14, 2016.

The collector passed an order to take back the land on February 26, 2018 and a copy of the order was communicated to the petitioner on March 3, 2018.

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