PANAJI: In a major relief to the controversial structure at Old Goa, the High Court of Bombay at Goa has quashed aside the order issued by Additional Director General, Archaeological Survey of India(ASI) on Aug 16, 2022, due to ASI’s procedural lapse.
The division bench comprising Justices Mahesh Sonak and Bharat P Deshpande stated that ASI’s order, though lengthy, nowhere discloses that any show-cause notice was issued to the bungalow’s Mumbai-based developer, through its partner Sumermal Jain before the order was passed.
The bench also said there was no information either about such a notice being sent to a previous owner, Suvarna Suraj Lotlikar.
While quashing the order of the ASI, the High Court observed that by not giving such an opportunity, the said authority has acted clearly in violation of principles of natural justice and therefore, such action on the part of said authority cannot in any way be permitted to be considered as valid in the eyes of the law.
The High Court of Bombay at Goa, in a case related to a bungalow built in the heritage area of Old Goa, had earlier quashed the order of the TCP department’s deputy town planner and the Old Goa panchayat revoking the technical clearance and the construction licence of the structure on the grounds that the party was not heard and the principle of natural justice being denied.