Her petition came up for hearing before a Bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka, which directed the Government to file a reply and also issued a notice to Kolhapur Municipal Corporation (KMC), returnable on February 7.

The 82-year-old singer, accusing authorities of trying to grab the plot, contended that neither the Government nor KMC had given a notice to her before declaring Jayprabha Studio as a heritage structure, as required under Section 37(1) of Maharashtra Regional Town Planning (MRTP) Act.

Mangeshkar purchased the 13-acre plot in 1959 from renowned Marathi filmmaker Bhalji Pendharkar. Pendharkar had bought this land from the erstwhile princely state of Kolhapur with promise to build a film studio on it. Accordingly, Jayprabha Studio was built and it stands till today. However, it has now become a grade III heritage structure although the studio is not used at all. A large chunk of this real estate has been given to a developer to build houses.

The singer contended that because the studio had got a heritage tag, it could not be renovated, rebuilt or even repaired. Hence, she challenged the Government's order of December 29, 2012, declaring it a heritage structure. She argued that the State ought to have considered that till date no Heritage Conservation Committee had been constituted for the Kolhapur city either by the Municipal Corporation or Deputy Town Planning Director, Pune, while preparing the modification in respect of the conservation of heritage buildings/precinct/natural features.

As per the regulations for the conservation of the heritage buildings/precinct/natural features, the committee ought to have been constituted with effect from the date of publication of the proposed modification.

In this case, till date, no such panel has been formed and the State had erred in approving the modification submitted by the Deputy Town Planning Director, her lawyers NV Bandiwadekar and Abhijit Adgule argued.

(Agencies)

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