Illegal offices of poll parties in Thane may go

Court gave local office-bearers of the parties two days to move, failing which notices may be issued.

Bombay High Court (HC) ordered Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) Tuesday to take action within ten days against unauthorised structures housing offices of political parties.

A petition in this regard has been filed by Thane lawyer Ajit Savagave. He contended the offices obstruct vehicle movement and pedastrians.

"Respondent 1 (TMC) is duty-bound to take appropriate action against all illegal and unauthorised structures in its jurisdiction," he said.

HC gave local office-bearers of the parties two days to move, failing which notices may be issued to their presidents and general secretaries.

The offices belong to Shiv Sena, NCP, Congress, BJP, MNS and Republican Party of India.

When TMC counsel Anil Sakhare said there was opposition to action by local members of the parties, a division bench of justices A M Khanwilkar and K K Tated said: "We fail to see why this should be an impediment for officers of the corporation to carry out work."

The judges also asked Thane police to provide sufficient force to ensure security of officials taking action against the unauthorised structures.

"Let us see whether you (corporation) work for the law or against it," justice Khanwilkar said.

HC issued notices to office-bearers to show cause why action should not be taken against their parties, including deregistration by the election commission.

TMC told the court while there were 167 illegal buildings, owners of 77 had secured injunction orders from the district civil court stopping further action. It said 31 structures set up for elections in February last year had been removed and parties themselves had demolished eight other unauthorised offices.

HC said the commissioners of police and TMC should decide individual cases to prevent leak of information on proposed action to parties.

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