August 27, 2023
In a recent ruling, the Bombay High Court dismissed a petition filed by a resident of Juhu Vile Parle Development Scheme (JVPD) who claimed that hoardings erected around her bungalow were obstructing natural light and ventilation. The court deemed that no apparent violation of rules had occurred and suggested that the petitioner pursue a civil suit to address her concerns.
The petitioner, Farhat Shaikh, had approached the court in 2018, urging the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to revoke licenses granted to four advertising agencies for installing large hoardings near her residence. Shaikh contended that these hoardings not only impeded the flow of natural light, air, and ventilation to her home but also infringed upon her fundamental rights under Article 21.
The division bench, consisting of Justice Gautam Patel and Justice Kamal Khata, emphasized that the hoardings were situated on an adjacent plot and observed that no apparent breach of rules had occurred. Consequently, the court refused to issue any order in response to the writ petition submitted by Shaikh.
In addition to her assertions about the obstruction of light and ventilation, Shaikh had also raised concerns about the hoardings violating civic regulations regarding plot sizes, spacing between hoardings, and the materials used for their construction. However, the court did not find any substantiation for these allegations either.
In its ruling, the court stated that the issue at hand could not be examined within the purview of writ jurisdiction. It recommended that Shaikh explore alternative legal avenues, such as initiating a civil suit, to address her grievances related to light and ventilation blockage.
This verdict by the Bombay High Court sheds light on the complexity of cases involving urban infrastructure and individual rights. While the court recognized the petitioner’s concerns, it ultimately determined that the matter fell beyond the scope of a writ petition. As Farhat Shaikh contemplates her next steps, this ruling serves as a reminder of the multifaceted legal challenges that can arise in an urban setting, where the balance between development and individual rights often comes into question.