SC grants time till May 31 to vacate their premises

The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the demolition of unauthorised flats in the Campa Cola compound till further orders, taking suo motu cognisance of media reports about the plight of the residents of the housing society.

A bench of Justices G.S. Singhvi and V. Gopala Gowda, in an oral order passed in the morning, gave the affected residents time till May 31, 2014 to vacate their premises. It said it would pass an order in the afternoon in the presence of counsel for the parties.

In the afternoon, Attorney General G.E. Vahanvati told the bench that the matter was disturbing him. Certain portions in the compound were unauthorised and they could not be regularised. “I had told the Maharashtra Chief Minister that an ordinance cannot be issued as we have to uphold the majesty of the law. I want a permanent solution to the problem, as granting them [the residents] time till May 31, 2014 to vacate may not give them relief.”

Justice Singhvi told the AG that he too spent a disturbed night. “I slept at 11.30 p.m. and work up at 3.30 a.m.… On reading the reports in today’s morning newspapers it appears that the majority of the residents have not vacated their flats as they have not found alternative accommodations. When we passed the order on October 1, granting them time till November 11 to vacate, senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi told us that 75 per cent of the flat owners had vacated. Perhaps he was not apprised properly.”

The AG said there was vacant space in the compound. The residents should be allowed to get approval for building new flats. Till then, he suggested, they could stay in their present flats. “If something is possible to give them some relief, I will work out a proposal.”

The bench agreed and asked the AG to submit his proposal on November 19 when it would take up the matter for further hearing