15 May 2024  |   07:05am IST

SC refuses to adjourn hearing on State’s plea against HC staying operations of ODPs

Apex court asks State to move the vacation bench instead
SC refuses to adjourn hearing on State’s plea against HC staying operations of ODPs

Team Herald

PANJIM: In a major embarrassment to the State government, the Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to adjourn the hearing on Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by the Town and Country Planning (TCP) Department seeking stay against High Court of Bombay at Goa staying the operations of the ODPs (Outline Development Plans) of Calangute, Candolim, Parra, Arpora and Nagoa.

Goa government’s senior counsel, Mukul Rohatgi had requested the court to adjourn the matter by two days, claiming that he did not have sufficient time to get complete instructions.

However, the apex court told Rohtagi to move the vacation bench, instead of a fresh date. The plea for more time was made after the Goa government itself had urgently moved the Supreme Court for a hearing on its plea to stay the Bombay High Court order staying the ODPs for Calangute-Candolim Planning Area-2025 and Arpora-Nagoa-Parra Planning Area-2030, both notified in December 2022.

The High Court passed its stay order on May 2 while, the Goa government filed its special leave petition on May 9. In the SLP, the Goa government had prayed for a stay of the earlier order of the High Court staying the circular issued by town planning extending the life of invalid ODPs in the five villages.

The respondent - Goa Foundation was represented by Adv Nina Nariman. While, hearing a civil application filed by NGO Goa Foundation through its Secretary Claude Alvares and Roshan Mathias, the High Court had directed the TCP Department, North Goa Planning and Development Authority (NGPDA) and the North Goa Collector not to grant permissions, clearances or change of zones based on the ODPs notified by in December 2022. 

The Court had further stated if any permissions were already granted or deemed to be granted under the impugned Ordinance, then the above respondents including the

TCP Board should ensure that no construction or development activities proceed based upon such permissions/clearances.

The High Court had also observed that prima-facie Calangute MLA and then NGPDA Chairman Michael Lobo was the prime beneficiary of conversion and zone changes. Lobo was NGPDA Chairman from 2012 to July 2019. 

A total of 27,814.62 square metres of land was converted and zone changed in the five villages during Lobo’s tenure. 


IDhar UDHAR

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