[ecis2016.org] A 40-year-old building housing traders, was sealed and taken back by the Mumbai Port Trust, for non-payment of dues, unauthorised constructions and illegal sub-letting
The Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT), on April 3, 2018, sealed and took back the possession of a five-storeyed building in the Masjid Bunder area of south Mumbai. The port trust, one of the largest land owners in the city, had let out Gokul Building in 1974 for 30 years, but the tenants continued over-staying.
“The lease had expired in 2004 and was not renewed. There was no contractual provision for extending it either. The tenants continued over-staying and did not pay either,” a senior port official said.
The six lessees of the building collectively owed dues of Rs 95 lakhs in occupation charges to the port, the official said, adding there were a host of other illegalities as well. There are 93 units in the structure, located in the Elphinstone Estate of the area, known for housing the trading community and the tenants had allegedly sub-let the premises and also illegally mortgaged the units to raise loans, the official said.
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Consequently, action was taken under the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) Act, 1981 and the estate officer had served an eviction order in December 2017, after over two years of correspondence. The process of eviction had kicked-off in 2015, while the eviction order gives a time of one month for the tenants to take legal recourse, the official said, adding that the possession was taken, after due process.
As per the provisions of the Act, there is no access to the tenants to the property and the belongings can be auctioned, to recover the dues. There are over 700 various cases of eviction pending with the estate officer, the senior port official said, adding that due action is being taken against all the erring tenants.
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