SC refuses relief to Campa Cola residents

May 31 deadline over; court junks plea to stall demolition.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:June 4, 2014 1:48 am

The Supreme Court Tuesday dismissed yet another appeal by the residents of illegal flats in Mumbai’s Campa Cola Housing Society to stall their eviction and demolition of the apartments illegally constructed. The court order affects residents of more than 100 flats.

“We are of the view that the present petition is misconceived and hence, dismissed,” a bench comprising Justices J S Khehar and C Nagappan said. The bench also rejected the submission that at least the illegal flats be not demolished till the time the apex court decides the curative petition of residents association in the case.

“It is a big humanitarian problem. As many as 140 families have been asked to vacate the premises with no other place to go,” senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, appearing for the residents’ association, said, adding that he was not advancing any arguments on legal grounds as it is nearly a mercy plea.

“Every case has a humanitarian issue. Otherwise there was no need for having courts,” the bench retorted.

The association, in its plea, had sought a direction to the Maharashtra government and the Municipal Corporation of Greater Bombay that they be asked to not demolish the illegal flats in the buildings till the apex court decides the petition.

It had said the association has come across certain facts, which never came out, under the Right to Information Act and they (facts) warrant fresh hearing of the case. The plea had said the state and the civic body, way back in 1985 and 1986, had decided to regularise the illegal construction. It had said the matter be sent back to the Bombay High Court for fresh hearing on the basis of new facts procured under the RTI.

The court however refused to examine the issue once again and said their plea was not maintainable. It had in November last asked the flats owners at the society to vacate their houses by May 31 as no specific proposal could be worked out to provide them space in the compound for construction of new building. May 31 was fixed as the deadline.

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