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Maradu interim settlement deadline: SC asks Kerala govt to move panel

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The State has already paid ₹27.99 crore of the total ₹61.5 crore payable to claimants.

The Supreme Court on Friday advised the Kerala government to approach a committee chaired by former High Court judge Justice K. Balakrishnan Nair with its plea to modify the deadline for completing the disbursal of interim compensation to residents of the illegal flats at Maradu in Ernakulam district that await demolition for violating coastal regulation zone norms.

On September 27, the court gave the government four weeks to pay ₹25 lakh each to the flat owners who will lose their homes. It appointed the Justice Nair Committee to hear and decide the claims of the residents of four illegal high-rise apartments — Alfa Serene, Golden Kayaloram, Jain Coral Cove and Holy Faith H2O.

The State, in an affidavit filed by its Chief Secretary Tom Jose, informed a Bench led by Justice Arun Mishra that the committee received 274 claims from 266 flat owners covering 279 flats till November 15, the last date for receiving claims. The State had paid ₹27.99 crore out of the total interim compensation of ₹61.5 crore payable to the claimants.

The State said certain problems regarding the verification of bank accounts of beneficiary residents cropped up. There have been two instances of “duplications” and it had to review the bank accounts of all the residents. Further, only 200 claimants provided their complete bank account details. All this caused a delay in the payment of the remaining ₹33.51 crore interim compensation. Instead of giving four weeks from its September 27 order, the court should modify it to four weeks from the sanction of the interim compensation by the committee. 

The Bench, however, asked the State to approach the committee with its request.

The government complained that though the assets of the errant builders had been attached, no money was forthcoming from them till date. The plan was to have the State pay interim compensation to the residents and later have the builders reimburse it.

The committee, through its powers derived from the court, had ordered the builders to pay Rs. 20 crore. This amount was meant to be used to pay compensation to residents over and above the Rs. 25 lakh ordered by the court.

However, some of the builders complained that they were powerless with their assets already under attachment. They sought the court’s permission to auction their property to raise the required amount. The court asked them to approach the committee.

Though the issue of of hearing a review petition filed by residents was raised, the court remained non-committal.

The government said Holy Faith and Alfa Serene complexes were scheduled to be demolished on January 11 and Golden Kayaloram and Jain Coral Cove the next day.

Mr. Jose said he had a meeting with the two companies assigned with the demolition work on November 11.

​The court scheduled the next hearing to January second week. 

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 8:34:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sc-to-hear-in-open-court-review-pleas-of-maradu-flat-owners/article30047324.ece

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