Preservation of Open Spaces in Development Plans

This legal case focuses on the crucial aspect of preserving open spaces in development plans, as analyzed by the court. The court’s in-depth legal analysis sheds light on the significance of adhering to approved layouts and regulations, particularly in relation to maintaining open spaces and gardens for recreational purposes. Stay tuned to explore the nuances of this case and its implications on urban planning and development regulations.


  • The Chief Officer, MHB, rejected the claim of Anjuman Trust via an Order dated 24.07.2013.
  • Writ petitions filed as Public Interest Litigation to protect two plots initially designated as open spaces in a layout approved in 1967.
  • Writ petition No 2476 of 2015 filed by four petitioners.
  • Appeal against the Chief Officer’s Order was opposed by petitioner No.1 on both merit and limitation grounds.
  • Questioning the authority of the second respondent for passing any Order on the application filed by the fourth respondent for leasing in favor of its nominees.
  • Review petitions filed by ‘Save Open Spaces’ disposed of, leaving open the issue of plot utilization for construction and clarifying non-binding of earlier orders on petitioners in review petitions.
  • MHADA framed the JVPD Scheme covering a land area of 5,80,000 square yards under the Bombay Housing Board Act, 1948.
  • Legal proceedings, settlements, and objections related to the use of the plots designated as open spaces for construction.
  • Petitioner No.1 being a Co-operative Housing Society opposed various actions related to plot usage for construction.
  • Allegation of collusive actions between the second respondent and Anjuman Trust in plot allotment.
  • The High Court found that the 2nd respondent erred in setting aside the decision of the predecessor and directed the Chief Architect to withdraw the revised plans submitted by MHADA to MCGM.
  • It was observed that the 2nd respondent mixed the issue of reservation from the development plan with the mandatory requirement of leaving open spaces/gardens as per 1967 DCR and 1991 DCR.
  • The High Court allowed the writ petitions, quashed the Order dated 21.03.2017 by the 2nd respondent-MHADA, and declared that the plots must be maintained as open spaces according to the sanctioned layout.
  • No construction activity can be permitted on the aforementioned plots, and the lease deed between 2nd respondent-MHADA and 5th respondent-Society was also quashed.
  • Legal counsels representing the respective parties were heard during the proceedings.

Also Read: Jurisdictional Limits and Statutory Compliance in Development Planning


  • The appellants cannot claim to make constructions on plots reserved for open spaces/garden in the approved layout.
  • The concept of temporary layout is not recognized under the Act and Rules/Regulations.
  • Sub-plots 3/14 and 6/11 were legally mandated to be kept as open space/garden by MCGM.
  • The obligation to reserve open space in the JVPD Scheme lies with MHADA.
  • Anjuman Trust’s request for plot allotment was contingent upon obtaining necessary layout sanction from MCGM.
  • The High Court directed plots to continue as open spaces/gardens based on the 1967 layout, approved by the Competent Authority.
  • The development plan of 1999 does not supersede the 1967 layout, which subdivided big plots into smaller residential sites.
  • The Anjuman Trust falls within the scope of the relevant section mentioned.
  • The subsequent development plan of the entire JVPD area shows the sites in question as residential sites, allowing for construction on the land.

Also Read: Rights of Mirashi Tenant in Mortgage Redemption Case


  • The development plan, prepared by MHADA, covers an area of over 5,80,000 sq. yards and indicates various zones like residential, commercial, and industrial.
  • Approved layout of 1967 reserved open spaces/garden as per Regulation 39 of 1967 DCR, with specific dimensions and requirements for recreational spaces.
  • Appellants, part of Dawoodi Bohra Community, were allotted 46,850 sq. yards for dividing into smaller plots, utilizing most plots for constructions but leaving plot Nos. 3 and 6 for open spaces/garden.
  • The approved layout must be adhered to, and open spaces/gardens cannot be used for constructions.
  • Temporary layout concept not valid under MMC Act, and once an approved layout is utilized, it cannot be disregarded for subsequent development plans.
  • MHADA’s development plan cannot override the approved layout’s regulations on open spaces/gardens reserved for recreational purposes.
  • Division of bigger plots as per BMC-approved layout was not shown in the later development plan by MHADA.
  • Statutory approvals required for dividing land into complete plots as per Sections 302 and 302-A of the MMC Act.
  • Absence of open spaces/garden indications in the MHADA development plan does not entitle appellants to construct in plots reserved for recreational use in the approved layout.
  • Land under development measuring 3,000 sq. yds. or more requires submission of a proper layout or sub-division by the landowner.
  • 15% of the entire holding area must be reserved for a recreational space in the layout.
  • The recreational space should be a minimum of 450 sq. yds. and located in one place.
  • MHADA is leasing out mandatory open spaces in approved plans to neighboring societies for recreation purposes.
  • Anjuman Trust does not have complete right over Sub-Plot No.14 of Plot No.3 as stated in the impugned order.
  • Authorities have confused the issue of reservation/usage in the development plan with the requirement of open spaces in the layout as per 1967 and 1991 DCR.
  • Open spaces must be kept for layout approval or as lung spaces for other plot owners where constructions are allowed.
  • MHADA has sent a proposal to MCGM to rectify the development plan submitted in 1999 to show two plots as garden plots.
  • The approval of sub-plots in the layout for open spaces/gardens does not permit constructions on those areas.

Also Read: Legal Analysis of Recruitment Rules for Director at RIMS


  • Approval was given for the division of land into 61 plots.
  • No construction can be allowed in plots reserved for open spaces or gardens in an approved layout.
  • Open spaces in an approved layout must be maintained as such, even if a development plan was submitted later.
  • The temporary nature of showing plots as open spaces cannot be used as a reason to allow construction in them.
  • The appeals were dismissed by the High Court and there is no merit in them.


Case Number: C.A. No.-006216-006217 / 2019

Click here to read/download original judgement

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *