Maradu flats demolition: SC accepts correction petition

Maradu flats demolition: SC accepts correction petition
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The Supreme Court on Wednesday accepted a writ petition filed by owners of the four apartment complexes at Maradu in Kochi that have been ordered to be demolished.

The apex court had ordered the demolition of flats by September 20 as they were found to be constructed in violation of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) guidelines. Based on this, the Maradu Municipality had served notices on Tuesday to the flat owners to vacate the property within five days.

The petitioners said that there are serious flaws in the order to demolish the flat, which needs to be corrected. The three-member committee appointed by the Supreme Court has been replaced by a special secretary instead of the local self-government secretary. The three-member panel was constituted without the consent of the court, said the petitioners.

The residents of the apartment complexes have started a hunger strike in protest against the municipality's move to demolish the buildings.

Ernakulam MP Hibi Eden who inaugurated the protest asked the state government to move the Supreme Court to prevent the demolition of flats.

Around 1,200 people are living in the apartments.

A five-member bench headed by the chief justice of India will consider the petition field by the owners. Correction petitions are usually heard in the chamber itself. But the petitioners have made a special request to consider the petition in open court. The five-member bench itself will decide on the matter.

Meanwhile, tenders have been invited for demolition of flats.

A former Union Minister and a judge on Thursday came out in support of 350 flat owners of the Maradu apartment complex located in Kerala's Kochi, which the Supreme Court has ordered to be demolished by September 20 for violating the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules.

Former judge of the Kerala High Court Kemal Pasha, who visited the apartment complex on Thursday, said the state government is morally responsible to provide all help and assistance to the flat owners.

"These flat owners have not violated any rules, as they have paid every tax to the state government before they got the flats. Hence, the state government is morally liable to provide all the necessary help to these people," said Pasha.

Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister of Environment Jairam Ramesh wrote in his Twitter handle that the Supreme Court has ordered demolition of the apartments in Kochi. "Yet, in similar case of violation it imposed penalty on DLF and regularised it. It had stayed the demolition of Adarsh housing complex in Mumbai. Why such differential treatment?," asked Ramesh.

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