Unsafe school building in Mumbai to go: SC

New Delhi, June 23 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to restrain the Greater Mumbai Municipal Corporation (GMMC) from demolishing an unauthorized and unsafe building of St. Thomas High School.

The court wondered how permission was granted to run the school, which now has 3,100 students, from the unsafe building.

“We are surprised how the permission to run the school was given without verifying the design (of the school building), which is a statutory requirement” observed the vacation bench of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar while refusing relief even for a short duration.

St. Thomas High School, located at Dahisar (East), sought a year’s time to shift out of its existing premises so that some makeshift arrangement could be made.

Refusing to allow the building to survive even for two weeks, the bench said: “One monsoon is enough to take away the building.”

Justice Khanwilkar reminded senior counsel Huzefa Ahmedi about the fury of monsoon rains in Mumbai. Ahmedi was assisted by advocate Maheen Pradhan.

Even as Ahmedi pleaded for “mercy”, the bench said: “Mercy would prevail if you have an alternative.”

“You voluntarily shift to another building immediately,” Justice Khanwilkar said as Ahmedi said this was “a fairly recognised school”.

St. Thomas High school, run by St. Lawrence Educational Society, had challenged the June 8, 2016 Bombay High Court order rejecting the plea to avert the demolition of the school building.

The school building, on a plot of 2,356 sq yard, was declared unauthorized by the Bruhanmumbai Municipal Corporation in 2013.



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