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BMC's legal bill to fight Campa Cola residents: Rs 80 lakh

The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) had to spend spent approximately Rs 80 lakh to get senior advocates for the Campa Cola illegal construction case, an RTI enquiry has revealed

The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) has spent approximately Rs 80 lakh in its legal fight against the 'illegal' residents of Campa Cola compound located in south Mumbai's Worli area.

The BMC has been in a legal battle against the Campa Cola residents seeking to demolish the illegal floors and sent Rs 79.63 lakh since 2005.

The BMC has issued a final notice to the residents of the illegal flats in the Campa Cola society in Worli. File Pic

Initially, the case came up for hearing before the city civil court for which the BMC had to spend Rs 1.5 lakh. The case was fought for the Mumbai civic body by counsel Joquim Rais. In 2005, the residents approached the city civil court against the BMC's demolition notice served in 2005. BMC won the case in 2010.

Residents then approached to the Bombay High Court against the city civil court order where counsel SU Kamdar appeared on behalf of the BMC. In August 2011, the HC dismissesed the case. The BMC's expenditure on lega fees: Rs 1.35 lakh.

Later on, the residents of Campa Cola compound knocked on the Supreme Court's door. The case was on till October last year when the apex court gave its verdict, saying that residents had to vacate the flats till November 11, 2013.

Finally, on November 19, 2013, the SC extended the time to vacate the premises on or before May 31, 2014. The BMC spent Rs 76.78 lakh on counsels Goolam Vahanvati (former Attorney General of India) and Pallav Sisodia for the battle in the SC.

The information about the legal expenses was revealed through the right to information (RTI) application filed by activist Anil Galgali. Deputy law officer PV Naik has replied to the RTI application.

The BMC, however, has clarified that the legal expenses will not be recovered from the Campa Cola tenants.

“We will not recover legal expenses but the expenses of demolition will be recovered by them (tenants)," said Mohan Adtani, additional municipal commissioner.

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