Twin towers case: SC rejects Supertech’s appeal to modify demolition order

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October 05, 2021 4:40 AM

Showing no leniency to the realtor, the apex court while dismissing its appeal said Supertech will have to bear the entire cost of the demolition and Noida authorities will supervise the demolition with expert guidance from the Central Building Research Institute.

twin tower caseA bench led by Justice D Y Chandrachud while dismissing the developer’s plea said that granting such relief was like a review of the judgement passed by the top court

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed Supertech’s plea seeking modification of its August judgment that ordered the demolition of its 40-storey twin towers in the Emerald Court project on the Noida Expressway within three months for flouting building laws and dilution of safety standards, and other guidelines that affected the quality of life of flat buyers.

The company had moved a miscellaneous application for modification of the apex court’s order to allow it to only partially demolish 224 flats of one tower along with its community area on the ground floor to conform with the building norms. It contended that due to the proximity of Tower 17 (Ceyane) with the other residential towers in its Emerald Court project, the process of demolition by blowing through explosives cannot be carried out, and rather it would have to be done brick by brick. The real estate firm said the proposed modifications if allowed, would save crores of resources from going to waste in the construction of towers T 16 (Apex) and T 17 (Ceyane).

A bench led by Justice D Y Chandrachud while dismissing the developer’s plea said that granting such relief was like a review of the judgement passed by the top court.

“This application styled as miscellaneous applications or applications for clarifications in the guise for review cannot be countenanced,” the court said, after hearing senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi and Jayant Bhushan, appearing for the developer and homebuyers, respectively. “In essence, what the applicant seeks is the direction for the demolition of T 16 and T 17 should be substituted by a retention of T 16 in its entirety and a slicing of a portion of T 17. Clearly, it’s a grant of such relief is in the nature of a review of the judgement of this court,” the bench said.

While upholding April 11, 2014, order of the Allahabad High Court that ordered the demolition of the illegal construction, the Bench had on August 31 accepted the HC’s finding that the sanction given to the two towers by the Noida Authority in 2009 was illegal as it violated fire safety norms, national building code and minimum distance requirement between individual buildings as well as the contractual obligation to provide a garden area to residents of the housing society.

Showing no leniency to the realtor, the apex court while dismissing its appeal said Supertech will have to bear the entire cost of the demolition and Noida authorities will supervise the demolition with expert guidance from the Central Building Research Institute. It also asked Supertech to pay `2 crore to the Supertech Emerald Court Residents Welfare Association (RWA).

It also ordered the developer to refund the allottees of twin towers within two months, saying 12% annual interest will accrue for delays in refund beyond two months. The two 40-floor towers to be demolished have a total of 915 apartments and 21 shops, of which 633 flats were booked by homebuyers. The Emerald Court House has 15 other towers, fully built with residents living there.

In its scathing order, the judges said that the approval to the two contentious towers was a result of “collusion” between Noida civic authorities and the real estate company.

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