Land shall be released from reservation if no steps taken by planning authority for acquisition within the prescribed period from receipt of purchase notice.

In a recent judgment, The Bombay High Court declared the reservation of Playground under the Development Plan, 1991 on the plot of the Petitioner to have lapsed as MCGM did not take steps to acquire the plot so reserved within the statutory period of 6 months provided u/s 127 of the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act, 1966. The Hon’ble Court also declared as lapsed, a subsequent reservation on the same plot for ‘garden/park’ under DP 2034 on the basis of the lapsing of the prior preservation.


  1. A 1993.59 sq. mt. part of the land of the Petitioner was reserved for a Garden in the final Development Plan which was in effect from 11th October 1992. The 10 years’ period to acquire the land expired on 10th October, 2002 from the date of sanctioning of the development plan.
  2. Thereafter, the Petitioner issued a purchase notice under Section 127 of the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act, 1966 (“MRTP Act”) on 12th May, 2003 to the Municipal Corporation to purchase the reserved land or to take steps for its acquisition within a period of 6 months from the date of service of the purchase notice. The Municipal Commissioner addressed a letter to the Corporation recommending the acquisition of the reserved land pursuant to the notice of the Petitioner. On 29th August, 2003, a resolution was passed by the Municipal Corporation approving the acquisition proposal of reserved land. On 1st November, 2003, the Chief Engineer DP of MCGM had applied to the State Government for acquisition of the plot. On 10th November, 2003 i.e. 1 day prior to the expiry of the period of 6 months, the Petitioner requested MCGM for a withdrawal of the Purchase Notice.
  3. Later, on 22nd July, 2004, the State Government issued a gazette notification publishing its declaration u/s 126 of the MRTP Act read with Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act seeking to acquire the reserved land, admeasuring 1993.59 sq. mtrs. In the year 2007 the Petitioner filed a Writ Petition seeking a declaration that the reservation stood lapsed and for the Notification as to land acquisition to be declared null and void.
  4. During the pendency of this Writ Petition, sometime in 2018, a Final Draft Development Plan 2034 was sanctioned wherein the same reserved land of the Petitioner was shown to be reserved for ‘garden/ park’. The Petitioner raised an objection to the subsequent reservation contending that the earlier reservation had lapsed after six months from the issuance of the Purchase Notice by the Petitioner and the same could not be re-reserved under the new Development Plan. The Petitioner thereafter filed a Chamber Summons in the pending Writ Petition requesting for the deletion of the subsequent reservation.
  5. The MCGM resisted the Petition contenting that the Petitioner had withdrawn his Purchase Notice and therefore, the corporation was not bound by the statutory period to acquire the reserved land. It was also contended that under DP, 2034 land was reserved for a different purpose i.e. garden/ park and accordingly, the Writ Petition had become infructuous.
  6. The Hon’ble Bombay High Court held the following:
    1. That there was no provision under the MRTP Act, 1966 for withdrawal of a purchase notice and the corporation had all throughout acted upon the purchase notice and ultimately a declaration under Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act was published.
    2. That the declaration under Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act within the prescribed period of 6 months after the Purchase Notice would amount to taking steps for the acquisition of the Writ Property and not any other steps taken prior thereto. The said declaration under Section 6 and subsequent correspondence placed on record by the parties would also clearly indicate that no steps were taken by the planning authority in response to the purchase notice issued by the petitioner till the expiry of six months (being the prescribed period at the relevant time) of the receipt of the said Purchase Notice. This view has also been taken by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Girnar Traders vs State of Maharashtra, 2007 (7) SCC 555.
    3. That land once de-reserved from the revised development plan by the corporation cannot be re-reserved again in a second revised plan with some minor variation in the purpose. This was the view taken by the High Court in Trilok Singh Rajpal & Anr. (2022 SCC Online Bom 2347) and Anil Dattatraya Girme and Ors. Vs. State of Maharashtra & Ors. (2020) 3 Bom CR 353.
  7. Accordingly, the Hon’ble Court declared that the reservation on the land of the Petitioner stood lapsed. The Hon’ble Court directed the Municipal Corporation to issue a notification under Section 127(2) of the MRTP Act within 6 months from the date of the Judgment declaring that the reservation in respect of the reserved land stands lapsed and that the said land would be available to the Petitioner for the purpose of development as prescribed in law.1

By - Chaitanyaa Bhandarkar and Aman Marwah

  1. Purshotam Vishandas Raheja vs State of Maharashtra & Ors WP.2591 of 2007 dated 9th December, 2022