On Demolition Of Kochi Apartments, Top Court Dismisses Flat Owners' Plea

A bench of justices Arun Mishra and S Ravindra Bhat dismissed the petition of flat owners, who have also challenged the legality of a panel which had recommended demolition of the four apartment complexes.

On Demolition Of Kochi Apartments, Top Court Dismisses Flat Owners' Plea

The top court had on Friday directed demolition of flats within 138 days.

New Delhi:

The Supreme Court Monday refused to entertain a plea of flat owners seeking stay on its order on demolition of four apartment complexes in Kochi's Maradu which were built in violation of Coastal Regulation Zone norms.

A bench of justices Arun Mishra and S Ravindra Bhat dismissed the plea of flat owners, who have also challenged the legality of a panel which had recommended the demolition.

The top court had on Friday directed demolition of the flats within 138 days, a timeline given by the Kerala government, and had asked the state to pay Rs 25 lakh interim compensation to each flat owner within four weeks.

It had said the government may consider recovering the interim compensation amount, which will be paid to flat owners, from the builders and the promoters.

The court had ordered setting up of one-member committee of retired high court judge to oversee the demolition and to assess total compensation payable to affected flat owners.

Besides, it directed freezing of assets of builders and promoters who were involved in the construction of illegal buildings in the coastal zone areas of Kochi.

The court had clarified that its primary concern was that no construction should have been carried out at the eco-fragile coastal zone and the question was not regarding any individual.

The state government had submitted a plan under which in 138 days the structure would be demolished -- including 90 days for demolition and 38 days for removing of debris.

On May 8, the top court had directed that these buildings be removed within a month as they were constructed in a notified CRZ, which was part of the tidally-influenced water body in Kerala.

The court had passed the order after taking note of a report of a three-member committee, which said when the buildings were built, the area was already notified as a CRZ and construction was prohibited.

Earlier, the court had rejected a plea filed by the residents of the area against the demolition order and taken a strong exception to an order passed by a vacation bench during the summer break of the apex court, which had stayed the demolition of these buildings for six weeks.

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