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“Without Basis”: Bombay HC Stays CM Shinde Govt’s Order Against Belewadi’s Development Project Initiated By Predecessor Thackeray Govt

Bombay HC

Bombay HC observed that the suspension of developmental work in Pune village sanctioned by the Uddhav Thackeray-led government would result in the lapse of the already allotted budget

Mumbai: In July this year, CM Eknath Shinde-led government issued an order directing the suspension of developmental work in Pune village sanctioned by the Uddhav Thackeray-led government. Now the Bombay High Court stayed the order.

The court stated that the Shinde government could not suspend work to be carried out in a village. The suspension would result in the lapse of the already allotted budget.

The matter was being heard by the bench of Justices RD Dhanuka and SG Dige. The bench said that prima facie, it believed that the suspension of order was done “without any basis”.

The bench made these observations while it was hearing a petition filed by Pune’s Belewadi Village panchayat. The petition sought the issuance of a writ of certiorari for quashing and setting aside orders dated July 19 and 25 passed this year by CM Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

By these orders, the state government had suspended all the development activities initiated by the previous MVA government led by Uddhav Thackeray.

In the plea, it was stated that the development work of construction of gutters in the Village Panchayat, was sanctioned by the Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government. The order to the contractor for this work was issued on July 14.

However, on July 19 and 25, without stating any reason for why the budget, which was already sanctioned and incorporated in the Finance Act, was suspended by executive order.

The petitioners’ attorneys, SS Patwardhan and Mrinal Shelar, cited the March 31 ruling and stated that the work had to be finished by March 31, 2023, or the budget that had already been set aside and was a part of the Finance Act would expire.

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Patwardhan also referred to comparable situations that had come up before the Bombay High Court’s Aurangabad bench, where the current state government had halted development activities in other regions that the preceding government had approved.

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