The division bench of Justices V L Achilya and Abhay Oka passed the order in view of undertakings given by each resident that they would vacate the premises if the state government does not allot land to the society by December 31.

The residents also gave an undertaking that they would not transfer, alienate or create any third party rights or interests in the respective premises in their possession. The society informed the HC that it had submitted an application to the government on October 16 seeking allotment of land so as to legalise the construction.

The HC asked the state government to decide the application as expeditiously as possible and in any event before December 19. The bench also said that a representative of the society shall appear before the Principal Secretary, Revenue Department, with authenticated copy of the HC order and a copy of the application dated October 16, to enable the government to take necessary action.

The next hearing would be on January 7. The court however made it clear that possession shall be handed over to the civic body even if the society's application is not decided before December 31, or if it is rejected.

Gauri Raghuwanshi, society's lawyer, pointed out that a court receiver of Bombay High Court had already been appointed as the receiver for the buildings.

The court said if the occupants failed to deliver the possession by December 31, the court receiver shall take forcible possession with the help of police.

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