The Maharashtra government told the Bombay High Court Thursday that it had demolished fugitive jeweller Nirav Modi’s illegal bungalow built along the beach at Alibaug in adjoining Raigad district.
Government counsel advocate P B Kakade also told a bench of Chief Justice Naresh Patil and Justice M S Karnik that it had served demolition notices to another 58 private properties in the area constructed in violation of the state’s rules and coastal zone norms.
He made the submissions in compliance with a previous order of the bench whereby, it had directed the government to submit details of all actions taken, and pending litigation concerning the illegal private constructions along the beaches in Alibaug, a coastal town popular with weekend tourists.
The state filed an affidavit in the court stating Modi’s illegal bungalow was demolished on December 5.
It also said 58 other properties were served with the demolition notice on December 4, and their owners asked to raze all illegal structures within a week’s time.
In the affidavit, the state submitted that the owners of around 61 such illegal private structures had managed to get stay orders on demolition from local civil courts.
However, it was planning to initiate legal action to get the stay orders lifted, the government submitted.
The bench took note of the state’s submissions and scheduled the matter for further hearing on December 20.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by an activist, Surendra Dhavale.
The plea had sought that the court direct the authorities to demolish all unauthorised constructions “within the low and high tide areas” in several villages in Alibaug.
As per the petition, such constructions had been carried out in violation of the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority rules and the state’s land laws.
As per the plea, there are around 175 such private residences in CRZ areas in villages such as Varsoli, Sasvane, Kolgaon and Dokvade, among others, belonging to several “wealthy persons, including Modi, and several businessmen and film actors”.
Nirav Modi, a key accused in the USD 2 billion Punjab National Bank fraud case, has fled the country.