Supreme Court restrains demolition of Maradu buildings for six weeks

Supreme Court restrains demolition of Maradu buildings for six weeks

Shruti Mahajan

The Supreme Court today ordered that the buildings in Maradu municipality in Kerala’s Ernakulam District should not be demolished for six weeks.

This order was passed by a Vacation Bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and Ajay Rastogi in writ a petition filed by apartment owners.

The Bench did not pass any order in relation to the Court’s order of May 8 by which it had ordered the demolition of Maradu buildings within one month for violation of Coastal Regulatory Zone Regulations.

Instead, the Bench listed the writ petition before the same Bench which had passed the May 8 order while ordering a status quo for six weeks.

“This Court by its order dated 08.05.2019 directed the structures to be removed forthwith within a period of one month from 08.05.2019 in view of the findings of the Enquiry Committee. It would not be appropriate for this Bench to pass any order to the contrary.

Judicial propriety demands that we direct that these writ petitions be listed before the Bench which passed the Order dated 08.05.2019.”

For a period of six weeks or until further orders whichever is earlier, there will be an interim order restraining the respondents from demolishing the buildings in question.”

The writ petition has been filed by apartment owners on the ground that they were not given a fair hearing by the Committee that was formed to look into the issue.

Counsel arguing for the petitioners contended that the Committee, that was constituted in accordance with the Supreme Court’s order and was supposed to submit its report to the Court, did not give a hearing to the flat owners. The Committee was to hear objections from all affected parties and hear their objections before submitting its report to the Court.

” It is the case of the writ petitioners that a report has been submitted but without giving the petitioners, who are the owners of flats in the buildings in question, any opportunity of hearing. “

It has further been submitted by the Petitioners that the fact that the flat owners were not given a hearing was not brought forth before the Court. The order passed today records the same:

“It is urged by the learned senior counsel that the attention of this Court was not drawn to the fact that the flat owners had not been given an opportunity of hearing, as directed by this Court, by its earlier order”

The Court today issued notice to the Respondents in the matter while stating that it would be appropriate for this matter to be heard by the Bench that had passed the order for demolition on May 8. The order of May 8 was passed by the Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Navin Sinha.

The Petitioners were represented by Senior Counsel Debal Banerjee and Senior Counsel Maninder Singh.

The case will now be heard in the first week of July.

[Read Order]

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