Mumbai, Apr 27 (PTI) The Bombay High Court today sought the Maharashtra government’s stand on an allegation by a civic body that it was facing difficulty in demolition of illegal slums due to interference by state minister Prakash Mehta.

A bench of justices A S Oka and A K Menon asked the state government to file an affidavit in reply to the allegation made by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation yesterday against Housing Minister Mehta.

“The government should file an affidavit on behalf of the minister and clear its stand. Serious allegations have been made,” the bench said, referring to the allegation made by the civic body in an affidavit to the court.

The Corporation is carrying out the demolition drive of encroachments along all major water pipelines that run through the city and it told the court yesterday that it was facing difficulty in demolishing illegal hutment along the pipeline at Tilak Nagar.

The high court had asked the civic body to undertake the demolition earlier on a plea by a civil society Janhit Manch to rid the city of the menace of mushrooming growth of slums in the city, including those along the water pipelines.

The civic body in its affidavit had also alleged that the local police (Tilak Nagar) was not providing protection to the demolition squads despite several requests.

The bench was today informed that on April 15 when the demolition drive was on at Tilak Nagar, the minister had visited the Tilak Nagar police station.

“We direct the senior police inspector of Tilak Nagar to ensure that CCTV footage of April 15 of the police station is not deleted and is presented to us on the next date of hearing,” the court directed today.

It also asked the corporation to file an affidavit giving details of all correspondence between it and the Tilak Nagar police station since January 2017 on its demand of police protection.

The court will hear the matter further after three weeks.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.