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SC clears razing of 35 Campa Cola compound floors

The bench made it clear that all floors above the first five in the seven buildings will have to be razed.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: October 2, 2013 12:20:48 am

Around 140 families Tuesday lost their final legal battle to keep their houses,with the Supreme Court clearing the decks for demolition of 35 illegally constructed floors in Mumbai’s Campa Cola Compound. The court gave residents 41 days to vacate their homes before they are razed by the municipal body for violation of construction by-laws.

Disposing of a petition by the residents,a bench led by Justice G S Singhvi said the residents could stay in Worli’s Campa Cola compound until November 11,after which they can sue the builders for damages and other charges,but they cannot stay on.

The bench made it clear that all floors above the first five in the seven buildings will have to be razed. On an appeal by the counsel for residents,the court extended the demolition date from October 3,but held that no other court would henceforth entertain any similar plea.

“Having considered the submissions,we deem it proper to accept prayers made by senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi (appearing for flats’ occupants) and allow time till November 11,2013 to vacate the premises. This will be subject to the condition that they will not file any case in Maharashtra including the Bombay High Court,” said the court.

Appearing for Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation,Attorney General G E Vahanvati chose not to oppose the extension by another 41 days for the residents but sought a caveat they not move any other court against the proposed actions.

The demolition move was revived last Thursday when the Bombay HC dismissed a writ petition by residents seeking regularisation of 35 illegal floors.

They had moved court after BMC’s building proposal department rejected their proposal to regularize those sections of the society that fell within permissible floor space index (FSI). BMC had cited the Supreme Court’s previous order,restraining the civic body to regularise FSI violations in case of Campa Cola buildings.

There was an FSI violation,where residents hoped to regularize 67,000 sq ft,which was within FSI limit,of the 91,000 sq ft area. This means out of the 92 illegal flats,73 could have been spared had BMC decided to regularize them.

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