HAMIDIA MISTRY Vs. MUNICIPAL CORPORATION OF GREATER MUMBAI
HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY
MUNICIPAL CORPORATION OF GREATER MUMBAI
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(1.) By this Petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, the Petitioners have challenged the resolution dated 17th August, 2011 bearing No.470 passed by the General Body of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation. The issue in this Petition concerns Pay and Park Scheme implemented by the Mumbai Municipal Corporation (for short "the said Municipal Corporation) at various places in the city. Under Section 326A of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, 1888 (for short "the said Act of 1888") the said Corporation is entitled to earmark parking spaces for vehicles in any part of the public streets or public places. A circular dated 19th August, 2002 was issued by the Municipal Corporation providing that all Assistant Commissioners should identify the locations where pay and park schemes can be implemented. The circular provided for the Assistant Municipal Commissioners implementing the Scheme by inviting spot quotations or by appointing security men. The case made out in the Petition is that on 7th December, 2009, the Municipal Corporation invited tenders from the Contractors for running Pay and Park Scheme. It is pointed out in the Petition that the tender process initiated on the basis of notice dated 7th December, 2009 was cancelled.
(2.) On 11th March, 2010, a meeting was held in the Chamber of the Hon'ble Mayor of the said Corporation to discuss the issue. It was decided to refer the matter to the Improvement Committee. According to the case made out in the Petition, a resolution was passed by the Improvement Committee of the said Corporation on 28th April, 2010 on the basis of the proposal of the Municipal Commissioner dated 3rd April, 2010. The said Resolution was approved by the General Body of the said Corporation vide the impugned Resolution No.470 dated 17th August, 2010. The said Corporation finalized 92 Pay and Park locations in 15 Administrative Wards. Out of 92 locations, 50% were reserved for Mahila Bachat Gats (self help groups of women) and 25% were reserved for Social Organisations/Agencies of Educated Unemployed. The reserved locations were also identified. The General Body Resolution provides that even the legal representatives of Martyrs of the Sanyukta Maharashtra Movement should be also accommodated in the scheme. The Petitioners are relying upon a note dated 27th April, 2011 prepared by the Deputy Chief Engineer (Traffic), a copy of which was supplied to them under the Right to Information Act,2005. The said note was prepared on the basis of the impugned resolutions of the Improvement Committee and the General Body.
(3.) The challenge by the learned counsel appearing for the Petitioners to the resolution of the Improvement Committee and the resolution of the Municipal Corporation is on the ground that making provision for reservation of more than 50% of the parking spaces for a particular category is unconstitutional and illegal. It was submitted that Mahila Bachat Gats exist for doing small scale household works such as stitching, cooking, etc. It is pointed out that there is a requirement of payment of substantial security deposit which is beyond the capacity of the Mahila Bachat Gats. The submission is that tenders will be filled in by the interested persons on behalf of or in the name of Mahila Bachat Gats. It was submitted that even the reservation of 25% for educated unemployed is absurd and illegal. It was also pointed out that concession provided to Mahila Bachat Gats and organisations of educated unemployed in the price of the tender form and amount of security deposit is also discriminatory. His submission is that the allotment of spots of pay and parking cannot be made in this arbitrary manner. He pointed out that cost of tender form for unreserved location is Rs.5,000 + 5% VAT and for Mahila Bachat Gats, it is Rs.500 + 5% VAT. He pointed out that the handbook of Mahila Bachat Gats shows that 51 types of activities which could be conducted by the said groups have been identified and that running pay and park scheme is not one of the said 51 activities. He pointed out that for Mahila Bachat Gats and organisations of educated unemployed, there is no requirement of furnishing bank guarantee or security. He pointed out that the members of the said organisations may not possess any skill to run pay and park scheme.;
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