Taking the Kerala government to task over non-compliance of its order to demolish illegally built apartment complexes in Ernakulam district, the Supreme Court on Friday directed that the demolition be completed by September 20. It also asked the state Chief Secretary to be present before it on September 23.
A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and M R Shah rejected the state’s request to grant it more time in view of Onam festivities. Justice Mishra said “not a day more… Your state is known for not following the directions of this court…”
The state’s standing council G Prakash requested the court to exempt the chief secretary from appearing but the court did not relent. It asked the state to file a compliance report by September 20 and ensure the chief secretary’s appearance.
The bench of Justices Mishra and Shah had on May 8 ordered demolition of five apartment complexes totalling over 300 units in Maradu municipality for flouting Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) guidelines. The court directed that the structures be demolished in a month’s time.
Subsequently, the Kerala State Coastal Zone Management Authority approached the court — which was on summer vacation — with an application seeking extension of time for carrying out the demolition. The plea came up before a vacation bench of Justices Mishra and Shah which rejected it on May 21.
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