SC gives Campa Cola flats a five-month breatherhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/sc-gives-campa-cola-flats-a-fivemonth-breather/

SC gives Campa Cola flats a five-month breather

The Supreme Court Thursday gave five months’ time to families in 140 unauthorised flats in the Campa Cola compound to vacate the premises.

The Supreme Court Thursday gave five months’ time to families in 140 unauthorised flats in the Campa Cola compound to vacate the premises.

A bench headed by Justice G S Singhvi told flatowners that they would get no more time after that,and directed them to file affidavits undertaking to vacate the building.

Following the court’s decision,the BMC called off the planned demolition of the flats,spread over seven buildings in the upmarket Worli compound. The residents had filed a special leave petition on Wednesday.

“The SC order brings finality to the issue. We will go ahead with the demolition after five months,” BMC commissioner Sitaram Kunte said.

Lawyer J J Xavier,who appeared for the BMC along with Attorney General Goolam Vahanavati,said,“The SLP filed by the residents against the high court’s order was dismissed on merit… They have been granted time of five months to vacate their houses. They have also been asked to file an undertaking within four weeks stating that they will not create third party rights with respect to the flats,that they will vacate in five months,and will not file any further proceedings in any court against the action of the BMC.”

Residents said they were not giving up yet.

“We will honour the Supreme Court verdict. We are in the process of consulting our lawyers on the options available. But as our buildings are not illegal and are regularisable within the permissible limits,we will try every opportunity to regularise these floors,” Raj Malhotra,head of the Campa Cola Residents’ Association,said.

Xavier,however,said,“The time of five months has been granted to the residents purely on humanitarian grounds. It has not been given in order to allow them to apply for regularisation of the illegal structures.”

BMC has taken a tough line against illegal structures after the Mumbra building collapse that killed 74 last month. The demolition process gathered momentum after the Supreme Court ruled last month that the upper floors of the seven buildings cannot be regularised.

The seven buildings — Esha Ekta,Patel,Orchid,BY,Midtown,Patel Apartments and Shubh Apartments — were constructed in 1980 by four developers on a plot that was home to Pure Drinks,the makers of Campa Cola. The buildings do not have an occupation certificate,which is given only to buildings built as per plans approved by the BMC,and which do not violate construction norms. There are 35 buildings in all in the compound.

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With demolition looming large,residents had launched a Save Campa Cola campaign on social media and held protests,which they got nearby slumdwellers to join as well. They organised havans and barred entry to outsiders.