HC defines affected persons under MRTP Act

Bombay High Court (HC) has held that even if an ecological issue is a concern for the general public in a city, all citizens cannot be termed "affected persons".

HC was hearing a petition by NGO Parisar against a new road constructed parallel to Mutha river in Pune.

The petitioner said as people were to be affected due to the ecological damage the project was feared to cause, Pune Municipal Corporation should have invited objections and suggestions.

Justice Mridula Bhatkar, said the argument did not stand. "Assuming that every citizen of Pune has interest in the river, (but) they cannot be treated as affected persons to whom giving notice is a mandate. The word affected contemplates a special, personal or specific loss. Hence, it is not necessary for the planning authority to give a notice or even give a public notice under section 37 (of Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act)."

Justice Bhatkar noted no land was to be acquired for construction of the road and therefore, there was no "affected person" within the meaning of the section.

Parisar contended air pollution from vehicular traffic on the road would damage the river and marine life.

But the court said affected persons under MRTP Act meant persons affected due to acquisition of land, change in reservation and construction or widening of roads.

The case

HC was hearing a petition by NGO Parisar against a new road constructed parallel to Mutha river in Pune.

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