Kerala

Supreme Court asks builders to deposit 50% compensation in six weeks

One of the apartments built in Maradu in violation of coastal zone norms being demolished in 2020.  

The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked two builders in the Maradu flat demolition case to deposit 50% of the compensation amount to flat owners within six weeks.

A Bench led by Justice Navin Sinha also did not agree to the Kerala government’s suggestion to transfer a contempt case regarding illegal constructions on coastal areas to the Kerala High Court for monitoring. The State said there were19,000 violations which would require actual verification. It said this process could be supervised by the High Court. But the Bench did not accept the suggestion.

The court hearing on Wednesday mainly concerned pleas by two Maradu builders, Jain Housing and Golden Kayaloram group, to lift the attachment on their assets. The court said it would consider their pleas on payment of the 50% compensation due.

Jain Housing, represented by senior advocate A.M. Singhvi and advocate A. Karthik, had collected a total of ₹28.53 crore from the residents for construction. The amount was revealed by the Supreme Court-appointed Justice Balakrishnan Nair Committee.

“We have already paid ₹2 crore. The remaining amount will be a little over ₹12 crore,” Mr. Karthik said.

Property

During the arguments, Mr. Singhvi submitted that the company had a property worth ₹93 crore at Chilavannur. He said this property, worth more than four times the compensation owed, could be held back as security while releasing the other confiscated properties.

Appearing for Golden Kayaloram, senior advocate Kapil Sibal and advocate Haris Beeran, said their client had received a little over ₹13 crore from the flat owners for construction. The court directed them to pay 50% of the amount, which is ₹6.68 crore. “We have already paid back ₹2.89 crore,” Mr. Beeran said.

He said the company asked the court to de-freeze a property transaction so that the proceeds of the sale could be used to raise around ₹4 crore to make the payment to the flat owners.

Mr. Sibal also sought a stay on a Vigilance enquiry. The court asked amicus curiae, advocate Gaurav Agrawal, to look into the request and submit a report.

The court has listed the case on March 10 for the next hearing.

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Printable version | Apr 16, 2021 8:54:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/sc-asks-builders-to-deposit-50-compensation-in-six-weeks/article33926219.ece

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