Kerala

Maradu demolition decision a ‘painful duty’, says Supreme Court

A view of one of the two towers of Alfa Serene being razed down in Maradu, Kochi on Saturday.

A view of one of the two towers of Alfa Serene being razed down in Maradu, Kochi on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: Thulasi Kakkat

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The judge's reaction came after perusing the report filed by the Kerala government about the successful demolition of the flats on January 11 and 12.

The Supreme Court on Monday said its decision to demolish four high-end luxury apartment complexes at Maradu municipality in Kochi for violating coastal regulation zone notifications was a “painful duty”.

“It was a painful duty for us,” Justice Arun Mishra, the lead judge on the Bench comprising Justice M.R. Shah, observed orally.

 

The judge's reaction came after perusing the report filed by the Kerala government about the successful demolition of the flats on January 11 and 12.

For the time being, the Bench preferred not to dispose the case. Justice Mishra said the court would like to keep an eye on the goings-on in the case, especially while the debris of the demolished structures is being cleared. Some of the debris had fallen into the ecologically-fragile backwaters.

Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for some of the evicted residents, said “ultimately the majesty of the law has prevailed” but pointed out that there was no sign of any legal action against the officials liable for clearing the illegal building projects.

But Justice Mishra assured “something is indeed happening” in that front.

 

The court had ordered the Kerala government to disburse Rs. 25 lakh each to the displaced residents. On Monday, Mr. Dave acknowledged that the court's order had served as an interim relief for the distressed flat owners.

But Mr. Dave sought the court's permission for residents to move a competent lower court, preferably the Kerala High Court, to initiate legal proceedings for compensation and damages against builders, promoters, other persons and officials responsible for clearing and raising the constructions.

The residents said they wanted a judicial pronouncement on various issues such as the proportion of liability of each of these parties, from builders to officials responsible, and the freezing/de-freezing of accounts/properties of the builders, etc.

However, the Bench refrained from passing any orders and scheduled the case for hearing on February 10.

The Court-appointed Justice K. Balakrishnan Nair Committee had sanctioned Rs. 61.75 crore to 247 flat owners as interim compensation of Rs. 25 lakh each. The State government has paid Rs. 49.37 crore to the flat owners. Further orders have been issued for Rs. 8.75 crore and only Rs. 3.75 crore remains to be paid.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 2:17:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/maradu-demolition-decision-a-painful-duty-says-sc/article30558107.ece

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