Godrej And Boyce
Manufacturing Co. Ltd. Vs. State of Maharashtra and Ors.  INSC 230 (6
JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO.1746 OF 2007 GODREJ & BOYCE MANUFACTURING CO.LTD.
.... APPELLANT VERSUS WITH CIVIL APPEAL NOS.1591-1592 OF 2007
GODREJ & BOYCE
CO.LTD. & ANR.
.... APPELLANTS VERSUS WITH CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2045 OF 2007 MRS. JYOTIKA B.PATEL
& ANR. ... APPELLANTS VERSUS THE MUNICIPAL CORPORATION OF 1 WRIT PETITION
(C) NO.190 OF 2007 VERSUS
AFTAB ALAM, J.
town planning law has evolved, with a view to promote planned development and
de-congest the highly congested areas, the imaginative concept of making, under
certain circumstances, the development potential of a plot of land separable
from the land itself and further letting the development rights to be
transferable by the land owner.
The provisions made
for the development rights that arise from a piece of land and yet acquire a
separate and independent existence with the added flexibility of being
transferable come very useful in case of plots of land shown in the Development
Plan as reserved for some public purpose or amenity that prohibits their owners
from developing those plots by making any other kind of construction. In such
circumstances it is open to the landowner to surrender the plot of land free of
cost (and free from all encumbrances) to the municipal authorities who may
acquire the land by granting to the landowner Floor Space Index or Transferable
Development Rights against the area of the surrendered land. The law further
provides for additional Floor Space Index or Transferable Development Rights
against the development or construction of amenities (for which the plot is
shown reserved in the plan) by the owner at his own cost.
appellants and the petitioners in this batch of appeals and writ petition had
their plots of land shown in the Development Plan as reserved for roads. They
voluntarily surrendered their lands. In addition, they constructed on their
respective pieces of land the Development Plan roads at their own cost and as
per the specifications stipulated in the relevant rules.
There is no dispute
between the parties in regard to the Floor Space Index or Transferable
Development Rights granted to them for the surrendered pieces of land. But the
parties are in serious controversy over the extent of Floor Space Index or
Transferable Development Rights for the roads constructed on the surrendered
lands at the owners' cost. The landowners claim that for constructing the roads
they are entitled to Floor Space Index or Transferable Development Rights for
the whole of the surface area of the roads. In support of their claim they rely
upon paragraph 6 of Appendix VII to the Development Control Regulations for
Greater Bombay, 1991 that provides for, `...a further DR in the form of FSI
equivalent to the area of the construction/development done by him
(landowner)......'. The municipal authorities would, however, grant them
additional Transferable Development Rights only to the extent of 15% of the
road area. The stand of the municipal authorities is based on a circular dated
April 9, 1996 issued by the Municipal Commissioner, Municipal Corporation of
Greater Bombay. The circular envisages a graded scheme for grant of Additional
Development Rights for construction of amenities by the landowner, e.g., in
case of amenities like general hospital, municipal primary school etc. it
allows FSI equal to the built up area of the structure but in case of DP road
only 15% of the area of the road surface. On behalf of the landowners it is
argued that the contents of the circular are no more than executive
instructions and can not supersede or override the provisions of the
Regulations which are legislative in nature; in any event the circular would only
operate prospectively and have no bearing on the cases in hand since it was
issued after the appellants and the petitioners had surrendered their plots of
lands after constructing roads on those lands as required by the authorities.
The argument is sought to be repelled on behalf of the state and the municipal
authorities by taking the position that the law provides for grant of
additional Floor Space Index or Transferable Development Rights commensurate to
the value of the amenity constructed by the landowner and the meaning of
paragraph 6 of Appendix VII to the Regulations will be clear by reading it
along with the other provisions of the Regulations and the parent Act. Seen
thus the circular dated April 9, 1996 would appear to be merely clarificatory
and fully apply to the claims of the appellants and the petitioners. On behalf
of the Municipal Corporation the claims of the appellants and the petitioners
are also resisted on certain grounds of facts that we shall consider in due
is the parameter of the dispute between the parties.
this point it will be useful to refer to some of the provisions of the
Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966 (the Act) and the Development
Control Regulations for Greater Bombay, 1991 (the Regulations).
2 of the Act contains the definitions. Sub-section (2) defines
"Amenity" very widely to cover vastly different public utilities from
hospitals, secondary schools and colleges to roads, streets and open spaces
etc.. Section 2 (2) of the Act is as under:
"amenity" means roads, streets, open spaces, parks recreational
grounds, play grounds, sports complex, parade grounds, gardens, markets,
parking lots, primary and secondary schools and colleges and polytechnics,
clinics, dispensaries and hospitals, water supply, electricity supply, street
lighting, sewerage, drainage, public works and includes other utilities,
services and conveniences;"
7 defines `Development' and sub-section 9A defines `Development Right' as
"Development Right" means right to carry out development or to
develop the land or building or both and shall include the transferable
development right in the form of right to utilise the Floor Space Index of land
utilizable either on the remainder of the land partially reserved for a public
purpose or elsewhere, as the final Development Control Regulations in this
Sub-section 9 defines
`Development Plan' to mean a plan for the development or re-development of the
area within the jurisdiction of a Planning Authority and includes revision of a
Development Plan and proposals of special planning authority for the
development of land within its jurisdiction.
13A defines `Floor Space Index' as follows:
"Floor Space Index" means the quotient or the ratio of the combined
gross floor area to the total area of the plot, viz.:
Floor Space Index =
Total covered area of all floor Plot area;"
15 defines `Local Authority' and expressly mentions, amongst others, the Bombay
Municipal Corporation constituted under the Bombay Municipal Corporation Act.
19 defines `Planning Authority' to mean a Local Authority apart from certain
23 to 26 define `Region', Regional Board', `Regional Plan' and `Regional
Planning Committee' respectively;
27 defines `Regulation' to mean a regulation made under Section 159 of the Act
and includes zoning, special development control regulation and other
regulations made as part of Regional Plan, Development Plan or town planning
II of the Act contains the provisions relating to Regional Plan under sections
3 to 20. In this group of cases, however, we are concerned with the Regulations
forming part of a Development Plan which is dealt with under sections 21 to 42
in Chapter III of the Act. Section 21 obliges every Planning Authority to
prepare a draft Development Plan for the area within its jurisdiction subject
to the provisions of the Act and in accordance with the provisions of a
Regional Plan, where there is such a plan. Section 22 deals with the contents
of the `Development Plan'. It mandates that the Development Plans would
generally indicate the manner in which the use of land in the area of the
Planning Authority is to be regulated and the development of land therein is to
be carried out. Further, the Development Plan would provide for, in particular
the proposals for allocating the use of land for purposes, such as residential,
industrial, commercial, agricultural, and recreational. It would also contain
proposals for designation of lands for many different kinds of public purposes
enumerated in clauses (b) to (l) of the section. As per clause (m) of the
section the Development Plan would also provide for the provisions for grant of
permission for controlling and regulating the use and development of land
within the jurisdiction of a local authority and the matters connected
22A enumerates what is meant by modification of a substantial nature in the
Development Plan. Sections 23 to 31 lay down the procedure for making Development
Plan, including Development Control Regulations by the Planning Authority after
inviting objections and submitting draft plans to the State Government. Section
31 empowers the State Government to sanction the draft Development Plan
submitted by the Planning Authority. Section 37 deals with modification of
final Development Plan. Chapter VII of the Act deals with Land Acquisition and
section 125 provides that any land required, reserved or designated in a
Regional Plan, Development Plan or Town Planning Scheme for a public purpose or
purposes including plans for any area of comprehensive development or for any
new town would be deemed to be land needed for a public purpose within the
meaning of Land Acquisition Act, 1894. Section 126 lays down three modes for
acquisition of land required for public purposes specified in the plans. The
provisions of this section are important for the cases in hand and are
reproduced below in so far as relevant for the present:
"126. (1) When
after the publication of a draft Regional Plan, a Development or any other plan
or town planning scheme, any land is required or reserved for any of the public
purposes specified in any plan or scheme under this Act at any time the
Planning Authority, Development Authority, or as the case may be, any
Appropriate Authority may, except as otherwise provided in Section 113A acquire
the land,- (a) by agreement by paying an amount agreed to, or (b) in lieu of
any such amount, by granting the land-owner or the lessee, subject, however, to
the lessee paying the lessor or depositing with the Planning Authority,
Development Authority or Appropriate Authority, as the case may be, for payment
to the lessor, an amount 9 equivalent to the value of the lessor's interest to
be determined by any of the said Authorities concerned on the basis of the
principles laid down in the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 Floor Space Index (FSI)
or Transferable Development Rights (TDR) against the area of land surrendered
free of cost and free from all encumbrances, and also further additional Floor
Space Index or Transferable Development Rights against the development or
construction of the amenity on the surrendered land at his cost, as the Final
Development Control Regulations prepared in this behalf provide, or (emphasis
added) (c) by making an application to the State Government for acquiring such
land under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, and the land (together with the
amenity, if any, so developed or constructed) so acquired by agreement or by
grant of Floor Space Index or additional Floor Space Index, or Transferable
Development Rights under this sections or under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894,
as the case may be, shall vest absolutely free from all encumbrances in the
Planning Authority, Development Authority, or as the case may be, any
Appropriate Authority, (2) to (4) .... .... .... ...."
154 of the Act obliges every Regional Board, Planning Authority and Development
Authority to carry out such directions or instructions as may be issued from
time to time by the State Government for the efficient administration of this
Act. Section 158 contains the rule making powers and authorizes the State
Government to make rules to carry out all or any of the purposes of the Act.
Section 159 provides that any Regional Board, Planning Authority or Development
Authority may with the previous approval of the State Government make
regulations consistent with the Act and the rules made there under.
Municipal Corporation of Greater Bombay which is a Planning Authority under
section 2(19) of the Act prepared a revised Development Plan and on April 30,
1985 submitted the Revised Draft Building bye-laws and Development Control
Rules to the State Government as required under section 30(1) of the Act. The
Development Control Rules, after being subjected to the procedure prescribed by
law finally received the sanction of the State Government on March 25, 1991 and
came into force from that date under the name, `The Development Control
Regulations for Greater Bombay'.
proceeding to examine the relevant provisions of the Regulations it may be
noted that on the date on which the Regulations came into force certain
amendments were introduced in the Act as well. Some of the amendments made in
the Act with effect from March 25, 1991 include the definition of `Amenity' in
its present form that was substituted for the original definition of the term
and the insertion of the definition of `Development Right' as sub-section (9A)
of section 2. Another very important amendment made in the Act was the
insertion of clause (b) in section 126(1) of the Act. Before March 25, 1991,
section 126 of the Act provided for Acquisition of Land only by two means, one
by payment of an amount agreed upon by the parties and the other by following
the procedure under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. The introduction of clause
(b) in section 126(1) provided for a third mode for land acquisition that is
based on the concept of Transferable Development Rights against the area of
land surrendered free of cost and free from all encumbrances and a further
Additional Floor Space Index or Transferable Development Rights against the
development or constructions of the amenity on the surrendered land by the land
owner (or the lessee) at his own cost. On behalf of the appellants and the
petitioners it is argued that apart from section 2(9A) and clause (b) of
section 126 (1), there is no other provision in the Act dealing with the
concept of Transferable Development Rights and those two provisions were
introduced in the Act on the same day the Regulations came into force in order
to give effect to the concept of Transferable Development Rights evolved in the
back to the provisions of the Development Control Regulations for Greater
Bombay, regulation 2(2) provides that any terms and expressions not defined in
the Regulations shall have the same meaning as in the Act or the Bombay
Municipal Corporation Act, 1888 and the rules and bye-laws framed thereunder,
as the case may be, unless the context otherwise required. Regulation 3
contains the definitions and clause (7) defines `amenity' as under:
roads, streets, open spaces, parks recreational grounds, play grounds, gardens,
water supply, electric supply, street lighting, sewerage, drainage, public
works and other utilities, services and conveniences".
is to be noted here that the definition of `amenity' under the Regulations is
much restricted than the one given under the Act and under the Regulations
`sport complex, parade grounds, gardens, markets, parking lots, primary and
secondary schools and colleges and polytechnics, clinics, dispensaries and
hospitals' are not expressly included in the definition of amenity.
indeed is common to the definitions both under the Act and the Regulations and
in clause (76) of regulation 3 it is defined in the widest possible terms.
Regulation 3 (42)
defines Floor Space Index as follows:- "(42) Floor space index (FSI)"
means the quotient of the ratio of the combined gross floor area of all floors,
excepting areas specifically exempted under these Regulations to the total area
of the plot, viz.:
Total covered area on
all floors Floor Space Index (FSI) =----------------------------------------
32 deals with Floor Space Indices and Tenement Density and provides for
different Floor Space Indices for different areas in Greater Bombay. Regulation
33 provides for Additional Floor Space Index that may be allowed to certain categories.
Regulation 34 contains the concept of Transferable Development Rights and it
reads as follows:- "34. Transfer of Development Rights. - In certain
circumstances, the development potential of a plot of land may be separated
from the land itself and may be made available to the owner of the land in the
form of Transferable Development (TDR). These Rights may be made available and
be subject to the Regulations in Appendix VII hereto".
35 provides for the method of computation of Floor Space Index.
62 empowers the State Government to interpret the Regulations in the event of
any dispute between the Municipal Corporation and an aggrieved party.
Regulation 63 empowers the Commissioner to delegate functions which he is empowered
to discharge to other subordinate officers. Regulation 64 provides for
discretionary power of the Commissioner which can be exercised in the event of
VII, referred to in regulation 34, lays down the manner for the grant of
Transferable Development Rights to owners/ developers and the conditions for
the grant of such rights. The claim of the appellants and the petitioners are
fully based on the provisions of Appendix VII, hence, those provisions, in so
far as relevant for the present, are reproduced below:
(Regulation 34) Regulations for the grant of Transferable Development Rights
(TDRs) to owners/developers and conditions for grant of such Rights
1. The owner (or
lessee) of a plot of land which is reserved for a public purpose in the
development plan and for additional amenities deemed to be reservations
provided in accordance with these Regulations, excepting in the case of an
existing or retention user or any required compulsory or recreational open space,
shall be eligible for the award of Transferable Development Rights (TDRs) in
the form of Floor Space Index (FSI) to the extent and on the conditions set out
below. Such award will entitle the owner of the land to FSI in the form of a
Development Rights Certificate (DRC) which he may use himself or transfer to
any other person.
2. Subject to the
Regulation 1 above, where a plot of land is reserved for any purpose specified
in section 22 of Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966, the owner
will be eligible for Development Rights (DR's) to the extent stipulated in
Regulations 5 and 6 in this Appendix had the land been not so reserved, after
the said land is surrendered free of cost as stipulated in Regulation 5 in this
Appendix, and after completion of the development or construction as in
Regulation in this Appendix if he undertakes the same.
3. Development Rights
(DRs) will be granted to an owner or a lessee only for reserved lands which are
retainable/non-retainable under the Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulations) Act,
1976, and in respect of all other reserved lands to which the provisions of the
aforesaid 1 5 Act do not apply, and on production of a certificate to this
effect from the Competent Authority under that Act before a Development Right
is granted. In the case of non-retainable lands, the grant of Development
Rights shall be to such extent and subject to such conditions as Government may
specify. Development Rights (DRs) are available only in cases where development
of a reservation has not been implemented i.e. TDRs will be available only for
prospective development of reservations.
4. Development Rights
Certificates (DRCs) will be issued by the Commissioner himself. They will
state, in figures and in words, the FSI credit in square meters of the built-
up area to which the owner or lessee of the said reserved plot is entitled, the
place and user zone in which the DRs are earned and the areas in which such
credit may be utilized.
5. The built-up area
for the purpose of FSI credit in the form of a DRC shall be equal to the gross
area of the reserved plot to be surrendered and will proportionately increase
or decrease according to the permissible FSI of the zone where from the TDR has
6. When an owner or
lessee also develops or constructs the amenity on the surrendered plot at his
cost subject to such stipulations as may be prescribed by the Commissioner or
the appropriate authority, as the case may be and to their satisfaction and
hands over the said developed/constructed amenity to the Commissioner/
appropriate authority, free of cost, he may be granted by the Commissioner a
further DR in the form of FSI equivalent to the area of the
construction/development done by him utilization of which etc. will be subject
to the Regulations contained in this Appendix.
7. A DRC will be
issued only on the satisfactory compliance with the conditions prescribed in
8. to 19. .... ....
.... .... ...."
light of the provisions of the Act and the Regulations the case of the
appellants and the petitioners is plain and simple. Mr. Ashok Desai learned
Senior Counsel appearing on behalf of the appellants submitted that the law
clearly envisaged grant of FSI or TDR under two separate heads, one, for the
land and the other for the construction of the amenity for which the land is
designated in the Development Plan, at the cost of the owner.
Section 2(9A) defined
`Development Right' to include the transferable development right and section
126(1) (b) provided for the grant of FSI or TDR against the area of land
surrendered free of cost and further additional FSI or TDR against the
development or construction of the amenity on the surrendered land at the owner's
cost as the final Development Control Regulation should provide. Mr. Desai
further submitted that the extent of FSI or TDR for the land would be equal to
the gross area of the surrendered plot and the extent of FSI or TDR for
construction of the amenity for which the land was designated in the final
Development Plan would be equivalent to the area of construction/development
made on the land. Regulation made provisions for transferability of development
rights and Appendix VII referred to in regulation 34 provided for the extent of
FSI or DRT admissible under the two heads. Paragraph 5 of Appendix VII that
related to the surrender of the land provided for FSI credit in the form of a
development right certificate `equal to the gross area of the reserved plot'.
Paragraph 6 of the
Appendix VII that dealt with the additional DR for construction of the amenity
for which the surrendered plot was designated in the Development Plan at the
owner's cost provided for a further DR in the form of FSI `equivalent to the
area of the construction/ development' made on the surrendered land. Mr. Desai
contended that paragraph 6 of Appendix VII used the words `equivalent to the
area of construction/development' which was capable of only one meaning, that
is to say, the additional DR would be the same in area as the amenity
constructed/developed on the surrendered land. Mr. Desai further pointed out
that no provision of Appendix VII, much less paragraph 6 of the Appendix made
any distinction between the different amenities as defined under the Act or the
Regulations and there was not the slightest hint or suggestion for grant of
additional TDR on a variable and sliding scale for construction/development of
different kinds of amenities on the surrendered land. Learned counsel submitted
that the additional TDR permissible under the statutory Regulations could not
be reduced or curtailed on the basis of the circular issued by the Municipal
it would be appropriate to take a look at the circular dated April 9, 1996
issued under the hand of the Municipal Commissioner, Municipal Corporation of
Greater Bombay. It deals with the grant of additional development rights in
lieu of construction of amenities as per the provisions of regulation 34 read with
paragraph 6 of Appendix VII of the Regulations.
It was apparently
issued on the basis of the decision arrived at in a meeting held on June 17,
1994 in which representatives of various bodies were present and in which after
considering the various aspects such as cost of construction of amenity,
category of reservation etc. a scheme was formulated for grant of additional
development right in lieu of various constructed amenities on a graded basis.
The circular provides that 100% FSI (Built up area) would be granted for the
following buildable reservations:
Transport Garage b] General Hospital c] Fire Station d] Auditorium e]
Electrical Crematorium f] Municipal Workshop g] Municipal Primary School h]
Municipal Retail Market i] Town Duty Office j] Office Building"
Paragraph III of the
circular deals with construction of DP roads etc. with which we are directly
concerned in this group of cases, and in so far as relevant for the present,
provides as under.
OF DP ROADS, WIDENING OF EXISTING ROADS ETC."
Development Right equivalent to 15% area of DP Road constructed by the Owner of
the land as per the Municipal specifications which includes provisions of SWDs,
footpaths, Central verge, dividers, providing street lights, laying water mains
and sewer lines etc. shall be considered."
ii to viii] .... ....
.... .... .... .... ...."
on, it appears, it came to the notice of the municipal authorities and the
State Government that the matter was taken to the Court where the circular
dated April 9, 1996 was challenged and claim was made for additional
Development Right equal to the area of the road constructed on the surrendered
plot of land. The extent of the additional Development Right for construction
of DP roads was then increased from 15% to 25% of the area of the road by
circular dated April 5, 2003, the relevant parts of which are as follows:
circumstances, the quantum of addl. TDR for construction of roads/setback lands
to be granted to owners/developer of DP Roads/setback lands is being 2 0
enhanced from 15% to 25% for all prospective cases which are not covered under
And "In cases
where owners have filed writ petition which is pending in the Court, the
additional TDR will be granted as per the orders of the Court. However in case
these owners are agreeable to accept 25% additional TDR, the same can be
considered after withdrawal of the Writ Petition filed by them in the
Desai submitted that in Pune Municipal Corporation and Anr. V. Promoters and
Builders Association & Anr. (2004) 10 SCC 796 this Court held that the
Development Control Rules framed under the Maharashtra Regional and Town
Planning Act, 1966 had statutory force. On the other hand the circulars issued
by the Municipal Commissioner were simply executive instructions. The
circulars, therefore, could not override or supersede the provisions of the
Regulations. He further submitted that the municipal authorities too were fully
aware and conscious of this legal position and had accordingly requested the
State Government vide letter dated July 19, 1997 to suitably modify paragraph 6
of Appendix VII of the Regulations. Mr. Desai further submitted that the
circular dated April 9, 1996 on the basis of which the appellant was being
denied additional FSI or TDR equal in area to the road constructed on the
surrendered plot was issued subsequent to the surrender of the land after
construction of the road on it. In any event, therefore, the circular would not
affect the appellant's right as it would operate only prospectively and not
Naphade, learned Senior Counsel appearing for the State of Maharashtra,
countered the claim of the appellants and the petitioners by submitting that
the circulars simply made clear the position that was implicit in the statutory
provisions and would be clearly discernable on reading paragraph 6 of Appendix
VII to the Regulations along with other relevant provisions. Apart from
clarifying the statutory position, by introducing a graded scheme for grant of
additional FSI or TDR the circular eliminated the possibility of any
discriminatory or arbitrary action on the part of the authority competent to
issue the development right certificate. The submission of Mr. Naphade is based
on the premise that the law contemplated grant of further additional TDR
commensurate to the value of the amenity constructed/developed on the
surrendered land. Learned counsel pointed out that the definition of amenity
covered vastly different public utilities like a school building or a road or
even an open space. He further submitted that though both a single storied
school building and a road built on plots of land equal in area may have more
or less the same carpet area, the cost of construction of the school building
will be much higher than the road. Hence, the grant of additional TDR for
construction of all the different kinds of amenities equal to the area of the
construction would be illogical, unreasonable and discriminatory. Further, in
case the graded system was not followed it would be left in the hands of
authority competent to issue the development right certificate to give
additional FSI or TDR on a subjective basis. The circular, by introducing a
graded scheme eliminated the subjective element and closed any possibility of
arbitrary and discriminatory action on the part of the authority. Coming back
to the basic argument that under the law the grant of additional TDR could only
be commensurate to the value of the amenity constructed/developed on the
surrendered land and not necessarily equal in area of the
construction/development Mr. Naphade submitted that paragraph 6 of Appendix
VII, unlike paragraph 5 didn't use the words `equal to the gross area of the
reserved plot' or `equal in area'. Instead, paragraph 6 used the words
`equivalent to the area of construction/development'. He further submitted that
paragraph 6 of Appendix VII to the Regulations must be read with Section 126(1)
(b), the relevant provision in the parent Act and paragraph 6 of Appendix VII
must be controlled and must take its meaning from the provision of that
section. Section 126(1) (b) used the words `against the area of the land
surrendered' and `against the development or construction of amenity on the
thus, Mr. Naphade argued, it would be clear that the law provided for the grant
of additional Development right proportionate to the value of the amenity
constructed by the owner at his own cost. The circulars issued by the Municipal
Commissioner simply quantified the exchange value of the different kinds of
amenities in percentage terms depending upon their costs of construction and
other relevant considerations.
Bombay High Court accepted the line of argument advanced by Mr. Naphade and in
the judgment coming under appeal it observed as follows:
"18. The terms
used in a statute are to be read and understood in the context in which they
are used in the relevant provision. The term "equivalent" in the said
Clause is undoubtedly related to the area and the term "area" relates
to the construction or development of the amenity done in the surrendered plot.
The word "area" therein does not refer to that of the area of the
plot. The term "equivalence" is defined in the Black's Law Dictionary
to mean "equal in value, force, measure, volume, power and effect or
having equal or corresponding import, meaning or significance; alike;
identical." The equivalence in case of construction activity cannot be
ascertained by merely referring to the carpet area of the land occupied by the
construction but it has to take into consideration the total quantity as well
as the quality of the construction. The term "quantity" would refer
to the total area of construction, not only on the ground of the land but it
would include even the upper floors of construction. The quality of
construction would include the description as well as the type of construction
i.e. whether it is road or building or shed, etc., as well as of what material.
The area of
construction would obviously refer to its total area of the structure and when
it relates to a building erected on a land, it would not only include the
carpet area of the land occupied by such building but the total area of the
super-structure and the same will have to be considered to ascertain the FSI
and consequently the value of such total area of the construction would be the
determining factor in that regard. It is also to be noted that the term
"FSI" i.e. floor space index means and has been defined under the
clause 2 (42) of the said Regulations as the quotient of the ratio of the
combined gross floor area of all floors, excepting areas specifically exempted
under the said Regulations, to the total are of the plot, viz., floor space index
is equal to the total covered area of all the floors divided by the plot area.
Therefore the total expenditure incurred in the construction or development of
amenity in the surrendered plot assumes importance while determining the
entitlement of the owner or the developer for further DR in the form of FSI on
that count under Clause 6 of Appendix VII.
19. As rightly
submitted on behalf of the respondents, the differentiation in the percentage
is directly linked to the value of the area of the construction or the
development carried out in relation to the amenities in the surrendered plot.
Certainly the valuation of the construction of a road in a specified area
cannot be equated with that of the value of construction in relation to a
building occupying the same measure of area of land. There is bound to be a
substantial difference between the value of the road built in an area of land
and that of the building constructed in same measure of area of land. In case
of road, the construction lies merely on the carpet area of the land. In case
of building, the construction is not only on the carpet area of the land but it
goes vertically above depending upon the number of its floors. In other words,
while the road would occupy the ground as many times as the number of floors it
Being so, the area of
land occupied by the construction or development of a road cannot be equivalent
to the same area of the land occupied by the construction of a building.
important aspect of the matter, the authorities having decided to grant the FSI
on the basis of 2 5 the value of the area occupied by construction or
development of amenity in the surrendered plot which would depend upon the
prevailing rate of the cost of the construction or the development. The same
cannot be found fault with."
are unable to agree with the view taken by the Bombay High Court and to accept
the submissions of Mr. Naphade because it seems to us to do violence to the
plain language of the statute.
126 (1) (b) of the Act uses the word `against': it speaks of granting FSI or
TDR `against the area of land surrendered' and further additional FSI or TDR
`against the development or construction of amenities on the surrendered land'.
Now, one of the meanings of the word `against' is given as "in return of
something", e.g., the exchange rate against Franc" (CHAMBERS 21st
Century Dictionary, 1st Published in India 1997 reprinted 1999).
third New International Dictionary gives the meaning of the word `against' as
"in exchange for: in return for"
Concise Oxford English Dictionary gives one of the meanings of the word as
"in exchange for, in return for; as an equivalent or set-off for; in lieu
of, instead of."
on the basis of the language used in section 126(1) (b) it could be
legitimately argued that what is contemplated is to recompense the land owner
proportionate to the value of the development or construction of the amenity on
the surrendered land. But the matter doesn't stop there. As seen above in
Appendix VII to the Regulations paragraph 5 uses the words `equal to the gross
area of reserved plot'. Therefore, in so far as the bare land is concerned
there is no difficulty. Paragraph 6 of the Appendix, however, uses the words
`equivalent to the area of the construction/development' and much argument is
made on the meaning of the word equivalent.
Naphade cited before us the Black's law dictionary in which `equivalent' as an
adjective is defined as "equal in value, force, measure, volume, power,
and effect or having equal or corresponding import, meaning or significance;
21st Dictionary defines equivalent as "equal in value, power or
Oxford English Dictionary defines the word as an adjective as "Equal in
value, amount, function, meaning, etc. (equivalent to) having the same or a
similar effect as".
Webster's Dictionary defines equivalent as "Equal in value, measure,
force, effect, or significance; corresponding in position or function;"
Third New International Dictionary defines it as an adjective as" 1: equal
in force or amount ..... equal in area or volume but not admitting of
superposition ( a square ~ to a triangle) 2 a: like in signification or import
3 a: equal in value : COMPENSATIVE.
AND PHRASES Permanent Edition Vol.15 at p.157 defines `equivalent' as follows:
`equivalent to' means to be equal in value, to be the same, corresponding to
and to be worth. Desoe v. Desoe, 23 N. E. 2d 82, 83, 304 Mass. 231".
"equivalent" has been defined to mean "equal in value, area,
volume, force, meaning, or the like; synonym:
identical." Nahas v. Nahas, 90 P. 2d 223, 224, 59 Nev. 220"
Advanced law Lexicon 3rd Edition 2005 Book 2 defines `equivalent' as follows:
"Equal in worth
or value. Equal in value, measure, force, effect etc. EQUIVALENT, EQUAL. Equal
expresses the fact that two things agree in anything which is capable of
degree, e.g., in quantity, quality, value, bulk, number, proportion, rate,
rank, and the like. Equivalent is equal in such properties as affect ourselves
or the use which we make of things, such as value, force, power, effect impact
and the like (as) "Equivalent of money.""
last of the above makes the meaning of the word `equivalent' very clear by
explaining it in contradistinction to the word `equal'. It says equivalent is
equal in such properties as affect the use which we make of things. Seen thus
any of the relevant properties, e.g., value, area, volume, quantity, quality
etc. may form the basis for determining equivalence. Now, if the words in
paragraph VI of schedule were to be "equivalent to the
construction/development" then the submission of Mr. Naphade would have
been fully acceptable as in that case it would be open to determine equivalence
on the basis of value of the construction and not on any other basis. But the
regulation fixes the measure of equivalence by using the words "equivalent
to the area of construction/development done on the surrendered land".
`Area' of construction/development having being fixed as the measure of
equivalence it is no longer open to contend that any other basis such as value
may be used for determining equivalence.
may here make it clear that we fully appreciate the rationale behind trying to
make value of the development/construction rather than its area as the basis to
recompense the land owner and for granting the additional FSI or TDR. The
submissions of Mr. Naphade in that regard are not without substance but that is
not the law as it stands and the value of the development/construction can only
be made the basis for granting additional FSI or TDR by making suitable
amendments in the law and not by an executive circular.
regard to the circular there is something else too that we find quite curious.
This aspect of the matter was not argued before us and it is not relevant for
the present, nevertheless we would like to point it out as it may help the
concerned authorities in future. It is to be noted that both section 126 (1)(b)
of the Act and paragraph 6 of Appendix VII to the Regulations provide for
additional FSI or TDR for construction or development of amenity which term is
defined both in the Act and the Regulations. But in the circular dated April 9,
1996 100% FSI (built up area) is reserved for public utilities none of which is
expressly mentioned in the definition of amenity in clause 3(7) of the
Regulations. Furthermore `Municipal Transport Garage', `Fire Station',
'Auditorium', 'Electric Crematorium', `Municipal Workshop', `Town Duty Office'
and `Office Building' are not even covered by the definition of `amenity' under
section 2 (2) of the Act. It is highly debatable if those public utilities can
be introduced through the circular as `amenities' within the meaning of the Act
or the Regulations.
from the contention raised by Mr.Naphade, Mr. Shishodia Senior Advocate
appearing for the Municipal Corporation, Greater Mumbai resisted the claims of
the appellants and the writ petitioners on certain other grounds. Mr. Shishodia
submitted that for acquisition of the designated plot of land recourse to
clause (b) of sub section (1) of Section 126 of the Act could only be taken by
mutual agreement of the parties concerned. It was equally open to the municipal
authorities not to accept the surrender of the land under clause (b) as it was
open to the land owner to make the offer.
followed according to him, that the municipal authorities could accept
acquisition of the land in terms of clause (b) on certain conditions to which
the land owner might or might not agree. In case the land owner did not agree
to the condition(s) put by the municipal authority he would not surrender the
land and then the acquisition of the land could take place either in terms of
clause (a) or clause (c) of section 126 (1). Mr. Shishodia submitted that the
appellants in all the cases had agreed to construct the road as part of the
condition to surrender the land and getting 100% TDR in lieu of the land.
According to him, since the construction of the road was a condition for grant
of 100% TDR for the bare land the appellants and the petitioners were not
entitled to claim any further TDR at all for construction of the roads by them.
He further submitted that it was only indulgence shown to the appellants and
the petitioners that the municipal authorities agreed to give them additional
TDR to the extent of 15% of the road area after the issuance of circular dated
April 9, 1996 and 25% of the road area after the issuance of the circular dated
April 5, 2003.
submission of Mr. Shishodia is completely unacceptable. The conditions, that is
to say, the mutual rights and obligations subject to which the land owner may
offer to surrender the designated plot of land to municipal authority and the
latter may accept the offer are enumerated in detail in the statutory
provisions. Beyond those conditions there can be no negotiations for surrender
of the land, particularly in derogation to the land owner's statutory rights.
Having regard to the nature of the law the submission advanced on behalf of the
municipal authority would lead to palpably unjust and inequitable results. The
land owner whose land is designated in the development plan as reserved for any
of the purposes enumerated in section 22 of the Act or for any of the amenities
as defined under section 2(2) of the Act or regulation 2(7) of the Regulations
is not left with many options and he does not have the same bargaining position
as the municipal authority. Therefore, surrender of the land in terms of clause
(b) of section 126(1) of the Act cannot be subjected to any further conditions
than those already provided for in the statutory provisions. It is of course
open to the legislature to add to the conditions provided for in the statute
(or for that matter to do away with certain conditions that might be in
existence) But it certainly can not be left in the hands of the executive to
impose conditions in addition to those in the statutes for accepting the offer
to surrender the designated land.
Shishodia next submitted that the measure of 15% (later raised to 25%) of the
area of the road constructed for grant of TDR by the impugned circulars of
April 9, 1996, April 5, 2003 and May 5, 2004 was decided in meetings in which
Mr. Nayan M.Shah, constituted attorney of the appellants was also present as
the representative of the industry. Hence, it was no longer open to the appellants
and the petitioners to question those circulars.
We are once again
unable to accept the submission, Mr. Shah might have been present in the
meeting and he might or might not have voted for the graded scheme for grant of
additional TDR but that would not authorise the municipal authorities to
override or supersede the statutory provisions by issuing circulars in the
nature of executive instructions.
light of the discussions made above we find that the stand of municipal
authorities is contrary to the law as it stands today and the view taken by
High Court is unsustainable. The judgment and order dated October 18, 2005
passed by High Court of Bombay in W.P.(C) No.323 of 2000 and other analogous
cases is accordingly set aside and the writ petitions are allowed.
the result, the appeals and the writ petition are allowed but with no order as