Jurisdictional Limits and Statutory Compliance in Development Planning

The High Court’s recent decision on jurisdictional limits and statutory compliance in development planning sheds light on crucial legal aspects that impact urban development. The court’s analysis focused on the mandatory nature of statutory time limits and the role of the Planning Authority in meeting legal obligations. This case sets a significant precedent for future development planning processes, emphasizing the importance of adherence to statutory provisions and jurisdictional boundaries.


  • High Court held that Director of Town Planning did not have jurisdiction to extend time beyond the prescribed period of one year in addition to the two years’ period.
  • High Court set aside the order granting extension of time for submitting draft development plan.
  • High Court noted deletion of 114 reservations sanctioned under previous plan and recommendation of commercial zone in green belt area around Airport in revised plan.
  • High Court allowed the writ petition and quashed the Notification publishing draft development plan under Section 26(1) of the MRTP Act.
  • High Court ruled that the statutory time limit under Section 26 of the MRTP Act is mandatory and Section 21(4A) is applicable in Section 38 proceedings.
  • The relief sought in the writ petition was opposed on the grounds that the development plan was incomplete and inchoate, undergoing the process under Sections 28 and 31 of the MRTP Act.
  • The ultimate development plan is to be sanctioned by the Government under Section 31 of the MRTP Act.
  • The State Government can extend the time to prepare and publish the draft development plan, not exceeding 12 months.
  • The draft development plan for Aurangabad Municipal Corporation area, notified on 04.02.2016, faced challenges in a writ petition.
  • The Planning Authority’s failure to meet deadlines led to the remaining work being assigned to the Deputy Director of Town Planning or concerned Divisional Joint Director.
  • The Municipal Council existed before the Municipal Corporation establishment, with a final development plan published in 1975 and revised periodically.
  • CIDCO Area was de-notified, leading to the incorporation of additional area within the Municipal Corporation.
  • The writ petition was allowed by quashing the notification dated 04.02.2016 and directing the remaining plan preparation by designated officials.
  • Various counsels represented the appellant, respondents, and impleading parties in the appeals.
  • The notice for preparing the draft development plan must be published not later than two years from the date of notice under Section 23 of the MRTP Act.
  • Concerns raised in the writ petition included deletion of public amenities, change in road alignments, and conversion of forest and water body areas to ‘no zone’.
  • Aurangabad Municipal Corporation was established in 1982, with subsequent appointments for development plan preparation.
  • Several writ petitions sought similar relief in relation to the Municipal Corporation.
  • The official Gazette published a declaration for preparing a revised development plan for additional areas on specific dates.
  • Extensions of time for the development plan preparation were granted upon application.
  • The writ petitioners alleged that the plan was not prepared in accordance with the MRTP Act provisions and was influenced by the Mayor and councillors of the corporation.

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  • The High Court allowed a writ petition due to the Planning Authority not preparing a draft development plan within the time prescribed under Section 26 of the MRTP Act.
  • Government of Maharashtra issued directions on 15.10.2018 under Section 154 of the MRTP Act to prepare a combined development plan for original and newly added areas.
  • Further directions were issued on 15.01.2020 for preparing a new combined development plan for the original and extended limits of Aurangabad city.
  • Despite proceedings initiated in 2013 for revising the draft development plan, it remained at the preparation stage and is yet to be submitted to the Government for sanction.
  • After hearing both sides and reviewing the material, the Court found no grounds to interfere with the High Court’s decision under Article 136 of the Constitution.
  • If the time fixed for any action in preparation of the draft Development plan lapses, Planning Authority deemed to have failed in its duty
  • Remaining work up to submission of draft plan to be completed by Divisional Joint Director or Deputy Director of Town Planning
  • Officer nominated shall have all powers and duties of Planning Authority for preparing and submitting the plan
  • Cost recovery for the work from Planning Authority funds is allowed
  • Director of Town Planning may specify a period for completion of tasks by the nominated officer

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  • Communication/letter dated 15.01.2020 indicates a fresh combined development plan is required for Aurangabad city
  • Huge variations found in the draft development plan prepared by the planning authority
  • No interference with the impugned judgment based on the above findings
  • Civil appeals are dismissed with no order as to costs

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Case Number: C.A. No.-002237-002237 / 2020

Click here to read/download original judgement

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