Adjudicate Tata Camelot housing dispute, SC asks Delhi High Court

Apex court sets July 31 as the deadline to decide the dispute; stay on construction to continue.

By: Express News Service | Published: April 23, 2014 3:57:33 am
sc-main At Kansal village. express archives

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Delhi High Court to adjudicate the dispute pertaining to construction of a much-hyped housing project, Tata Camelot, in the vicinity of Sukhna Lake at Kansal village near Chandigarh.

A bench led by Justice R M Lodha remanded the matter to the Delhi High Court after an objection was raised that some of the petitioners in the case had been judges in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The bench has asked the Delhi High Court to decide the dispute by July 31. In the meantime, the construction on site will remain stayed, in accordance with an undertaking of the Tata Housing.

On a previous date, Tata’s counsel was compelled to record the company’s undertaking “to maintain status quo in all respect” on the 53-acre land in the vicinity of the lake, in order to avoid a court order to this effect.

“We will not let you lay even a brick. How and why this eyesore was allowed? If the proposed constructions are found to be suffering from illegalities or other irregularities tomorrow, losses would become irreparable. We have to stop it now,” the bench had said.

The court had said it was a “very serious matter” as to how a 36-storey building came up on 53-acre land, which is now being claimed to be in the catchment area of the lake.

The court said that it had to ensure that no environmental hazards were caused because of the proposed construction.

The Rs 1,800-crore venture has been proposed on 53.39 acres of land, which would have around 2,100 flats in 98 towers, ranging between 12 and 36 storeys, near the Chandigarh Capitol Complex. The project’s fate has been hanging in the balance since November 2010 when it was challenged in the high court.

In August last year, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had refused to stall the construction of the project, following which a bunch of 17 petitioners, including a few judges of the High Court, moved the apex court. The petitioners had moved as members of the Sarin Memorial Legal Aid Foundation.

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