Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the Mumbai suburban district collector to reconstruct within one month a demolished crematorium here used by the fisherfolk community and ordered for its cost to be recovered from a petitioner who claimed it was constructed in violation of coastal regulation zone rules.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Madhav Jamdar had earlier held that the crematorium located on Erangal beach in suburban Malad was demolished by officials from the collector’s office without following due process of law.
The bench on Thursday dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by city resident Chetan Vyas raising concerns over unauthorised construction of the Hindu crematorium on the beach by the fishermen community.
The PIL claimed the construction was in violation of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules.
The court imposed a cost of Rs one lakh on Vyas and also ordered for the cost of the construction/repair to be recovered from him.
“The Maharashtra government and the Mumbai suburban district collector shall take steps for the reconstruction/repair of the crematorium at the same site within one month. The deputy collector shall oversee this and submit a compliance report to this court on November 10,” the bench said.
It was demolished after a different bench of the HC ordered for a joint inspection to be carried out of the crematorium. However, no hearing or show cause notice was issued to the fisherfolk community that was using the crematorium.
Collector Nidhi Chaudhari had earlier told the court that she was only following directions from the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA). The MCZMA, however, claimed it had only asked the collector’s office to inquire and take action.