New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered razing of two towers — Apex and Ceyane — in Supertech’s Emerald Court project holding that they were illegally constructed in connivance with the officers of NOIDA authority.
Directing Supertech to carry out the demolition within three months at its own cost, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, heading a bench also comprising Justice M.R.Shah, said in the judgment, “The illegal construction of T-16 and T-17 has been achieved through acts of collusion between the officers of NOIDA and the appellant and its management.”
Upholding the April 11, 2014, Allahabad high court judgment that had ordered the demolition of two towers — Apex and Ceyane (T-16 and T-17), the Supreme Court directed Supertech to refund the money of the existing home buyers with 12 per cent annual interest within two months.
The court further ordered that Supertech will pay the RWA Rs 2 crore as cost in one month.
Supertech in a statement has said that it will seek the review of the top court judgment directing demolition of two 40-storey towers.
Rajesh Rana, RWA president of the Emerald Court Society, said, “For years we have fought a legal battle and now we welcome the decision of the Supreme Court because the builders were constructing the towers without our permission.”
Due to the unauthorised construction, he said, the park area was also decreasing in size and there would have been a problem of parking too. “The builder was doing illegal construction without following all the rules, against which we had to move the Allahabad High Court,” he said.
The Noida Authority said that it will ensure full compliance with the top court’s order. Noida Authority's chief executive officer Ritu Maheshwari said the authority will also ensure action against department's officials who are found guilty of violating rules.
In a slew of directions, the top court has said that the demolition of the two towers would be carried out in a “safe manner” under the overall supervision of Central Building Research Institute, Roorkee.
In the event that the Central Building Research Institute expresses its inability to supervise the demolition, NOIDA will nominate another agency to oversee the demolition work, the court said.
Pronouncing the judgment, Justice Chandrachud said that the top court has in the past noted the rampant increase in unauthorised constructions across urban areas, particularly in metropolitan cities where soaring value of land places a premium on dubious dealings.
“This state of affairs,” Justice Chandrachud said, “has often come to pass in no small measure because of the collusion between developers and planning authorities.”
Emphasising on the need to regulate construction activities by the developers from the inception to completion of project and to balance the need for housing stock with environment, Justice Chandrachud said, “…when these regulations are brazenly violated by developers, more often than not with the connivance of regulatory authorities, it strikes at the very core of urban planning, thereby directly resulting in an increased harm to the environment and a dilution of safety standards. Hence, illegal construction has to be dealt with strictly to ensure compliance with the rule of law.”