Supreme Court: Supertech’s twin towers to be razed

By: |
September 01, 2021 5:00 AM

The entire cost of the demolition will be borne by the builder and Noida authorities will supervise the demolition with expert guidance from the Central Building Research Institute, the top court said.

The two 40-floor towers to be demolished has 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 here.The two 40-floor towers to be demolished has 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 here.

Taking a stern view of the violation of building laws by builders, the Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered demolition of Supertech’s 40-storey twin towers in the Emerald Court project on the Noida Expressway within three months.

The entire cost of the demolition will be borne by the builder and Noida authorities will supervise the demolition with expert guidance from the Central Building Research Institute, the top court said.

The court also ordered the developer to refund the entire amount from the time of booking, with 12% interest to the allottees of twin towers within two months. It also asked the builder to pay Rs 2 crore to the Residents Welfare Association (RWA) for the harassment caused due the construction of illegal towers.

Upholding the 2014 order of the Allahabad High Court that ordered demolition of the illegal construction, a bench comprising justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah accepted the HC’s findings that the sanction given to the two towers by the Noida Authority in 2009 was illegal. The towers violated fire safety norms, national building code and minimum distance requirement between individual buildings as well as the contractual obligation to provide garden area to residents of the housing society.

The judges said the approval to the two towers was a result of “collusion” between Noida civic authorities and the real estate company. “Noida made no effort to ensure compliance of the UP Apartments Act 2010, as a result of which the rights of the flat purchasers have been brazenly violated. This cannot point to any conclusion, other than the collusion between Noida and the appellant (Supertech) to avoid complying with the provisions of the applicable statutes and regulations for monetary gain, at the cost of the rights of the flat purchasers,” it said.

Coming down heavily on the officials of Noida and Supertech, the top court said the builder had raised false pleas and attempted to mislead the court, while the officials of Noida Authority had not acted bona fide in the discharge of their duties. Supertech “has stooped to the point of producing a fabricated sanctioned plan, therefore, we confirm the directions of the High Court for sanctioning prosecution” against the officials of the builder and Noida for violations.

The two 40-floor towers to be demolished has 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 here.

“Unfortunately, the diverse and unseen group of flat buyers suffers the impact of the unholy nexus between builders and planners. Their quality of life is affected the most. Yet, confronted with the economic might of developers and the might of legal authority wielded by planning bodies, the few who raise their voices have to pursue a long and expensive battle for rights with little certainty of outcomes… they are denied access to information and are victims of misinformation. Hence, the law must step in to protect their legitimate concerns,” Justice Chandrachud said.

The judgment noted that the protection of environment and well being of residents needs to be balanced with need for housing, illegal constructions need to be dealt with strictly.

Stating that illegal construction has to be dealt with strictly to ensure compliance with the rule of law, the bench said that any breach by the planning authority of its obligation to ensure compliance with building regulations is “actionable at the instance of residents whose rights are infringed by the violation of law”.

On April 11, 2014, the Allahabad HC had ordered demolition of the two towers and directed the company to refund money to the homebuyers. Following the HC’s order, the Noida Authority had sealed the two towers, which were at an advanced stage of construction.

The apex court then on May 5, 2014, had asked the real estate developer and the buyers to maintain status quo and also restrained them from selling, transferring or creating any third-party rights for the flats in the two buildings.

The HC order came on a petition of the Emerald Court Owner Resident Welfare Association, which had alleged that the approval and construction of the two towers was “in complete violation of the Uttar Pradesh Apartment (Promotion of Construction, Ownership and Maintenance) Act”.

It had claimed that the authority had given permission to raise the height of the two towers, which was earlier supposed to have only 24 floors each, “without maintaining the mandatory distance of 16 metre from an adjoining building block”, making it “unsafe, apart from blocking air and light”.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, Check out latest IPO News, Best Performing IPOs, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.

Next Stories
1Discoms’ losses down 38% to Rs 38,000 crore in FY20: PFC report
2NCLAT adjourns hearing on Videocon lenders’ plea for fresh round of bidding
3Institutional investors reject 2 resolutions, vote against another 2: IiAS