The Allahabad High Court on Friday ordered the demolition of two 40-storeyed buildings in Noida, observing that “it has repeatedly come to notice that builders, by joining hands with officers of the development authorities, flout every conceivable rule, including building regulations”.
A division bench comprising Justice VK Shukla and Justice Suneet Kumar ordered the demolition “within a period of four months” of the two newly-constructed towers erected in Sector 93-A of Noida as part of the “Supertech Emerald Court Complex” comprising residential premises and shopping establishments.
The court also ruled that sanction be accorded by “the competent authority within a period of three months” for prosecution of the respondent company (Supertech) and officers of Noida authority under the UP Industrial Area Development Act, the UP Urban Development Act and UP Apartment (Promotion of Construction, Ownership and Maintenance) Act.
Besides, the court ordered that money be refunded to all those who had invested in the two towers “with 14% interest compounded annually”.
The judgement was passed while allowing the writ petition of “Emerald Court Owner Resident Welfare Association” wherein it was alleged that the approval and construction of the two towers was “in complete violation of UP Apartment Acts”.
The petitioner had claimed that the Noida Authority had given permission for raising the heights of the two towers, which were earlier supposed to have only 24 floors, “without maintaining the mandatory distance of 16 metres) from an adjoining building block, making it “unsafe, apart from blocking air and light”.
Through the sanction order of 02.03.2012, the towers' heights had been raised from 66 metres to 121 metres.
The court allowed the petition observing “the builder is always under the impression that once the frame of the building is illegally constructed, the court can be persuaded to take a sympathetic view and permit the construction in total breach of legal provision”.
“The price of land is skyrocketing and there is scarcity of land in group housing. Taking advantage of the situation, the builder lobby is exploiting the need of the people by setting up illegal construction and the unfortunate part is that it has active assistance of the officers of the development authority”, the court said.
“The time has come when everyone should realize that rule of law is not a purchasable commodity and illegalities will not be tolerated merely because the builder has taken protection against the sanction which, admittedly, is illegal and in violation of building regulations,” the court