Supreme Court orders demolition of twin towers of Supertech, for violation of building rules
Slamming the collusion with builders and Government authorities, Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday ordered the demolition of Supertech Limited’s twin 40-storey towers titled as Emerald Court project in Noida within three months for violation of building rules. The apex court directed that the entire amount of home buyers be refunded with 12 percent interest from the time of the booking and the Residents Welfare Association be paid Rs.2 crore for the harassment caused due to the construction of the twin towers named Apex and Ceyane in the Emerald Court project of Supertech real estate company owned by builder R K Arora.
The Bench comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah said the case record is replete with instances that highlight the collusion between officers of NOIDA with Supertech Ltd and its management and involvement of the planning authority with the developer in violation of laws. Both the towers were under construction when the Allahabad High Court had ordered their demolition. After Supertech Ltd approached the apex court and obtained status quo in April 2014 against the High Court order. Observing that there is no need for interference on High Court’s demolition order, the Supreme Court said that Supertech’s twin 40-storey towers having 915 flats and shops were done in collusion with the NOIDA authority and the high court was correct in holding that view.
Supreme Court said that recently it has seen rampant unauthorized construction in metropolitan areas in collusion with planning authorities and it has to be dealt with sternly.
This is the second time the apex court is taking a harsh step against the errant builders. In May 2019, the Bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra and M R Shah ordered the demolition of illegal flats in Kochi. The multiplex flats were caught for violation of Coastal Regulation Zone rules.
The bench said that the demolition exercise of the twin towers is carried out within three months under the supervision of NOIDA and an expert agency and the cost of the entire exercise has to be borne by Supertech Ltd. The top court said that recently it has seen rampant unauthorized construction in metropolitan areas in collusion with planning authorities and it has to be dealt with sternly.
The top court said the complicity of NOIDA is revealed from the following — the sanctioning of the second revised plan of the project on November 26, 2009, in clear breach of building regulations, the refusal of NOIDA to disclose the plan to the Resident Welfare Association, NOIDA writing to the Supertech seeking permission to share the sanctioned plan with RWA and on the refusal by the builder, declining to share the plan. It said that when the Chief Fire Officer wrote to NOIDA about the violation of the minimum distance requirement in between the two towers, no action was taken by the planning authorities.
“The rampant increase in unauthorized constructions across urban areas, particularly in metropolitan cities has been noticed in several decisions of this court and this takes place in collusion between planning authorities and the developers,” the bench said. It added that from commencement to completion the process of construction is regulated within the framework of law and encompasses all stages of construction including allocation of land, sanctioning of the plan for construction, structural integrity, obtaining clearances from different departments, and issuances of completion and occupation certificates.
The top court pointed out that the quality of life is directly affected by the failure of the planning authority to ensure proper compliance and unfortunately, the diverse group of flat buyers suffers due to the unholy nexus of builders and planners. The two towers, Apex and Ceyane of Emerald Court Project of Supertech situated in sector 93, together have 915 apartments and 21 shops. Of these, 633 flats were booked initially.
The builder had said that out of 633 people booking the flats initially, 133 have moved out to other projects, 248 have taken refunds and 252 home buyers still had their bookings with the company in the project. Builder R K Arora led Supertech is in the real estate field for the past 35 years and the Delhi headquartered Group’s main projects are in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, and Bangalore.
 SC describes Maradu flats demolition as ”painful duty” – Jan 13, 2020, Outlook
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