CM Yogi Adityanath orders ‘strict action’ against guilty officials for alleged irregularities in Supertech twin tower project


NEW DELHI: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday ordered “strict action” against guilty state government officials for alleged irregularities in the construction of twins towers in Supertech Emerald Court project in Noida.

The order from CM yogi came a day after the Supreme Court ordered the demolition of Supertech Ltd’s twin 40-storey towers under construction in NOIDA in Uttar Pradesh within three months for violation of building norms in “collusion’’ with district officials.

 

 

The top court maintained that illegal construction has to be dealt with strictly to ensure compliance with the rule of law. The NOIDA authority received a rap on its knuckles as the top court pointed out multiple incidents of collusion of its officials with Supertech Ltd in the Emerald Court project and violations of norms by the realty major in the construction of the twin towers. 

“The case has revealed a nefarious complicity of the planning authority in the violation by the developer of the provisions of law,” the top court said.

The top court also directed that the entire amount of home buyers be refunded with 12 per cent interest from the time of the booking and the Residents Welfare Association (RWA) of Emerald Court be paid Rs 2 crore for the harassment caused due to the construction of the twin towers, which would have blocked sunlight and fresh air to the existing residents of the housing project in Sector 93A of NOIDA adjoining the national capital.

“The record of this case is replete with instances which highlight the collusion between the officers of NOIDA with the appellant and its management,” said a bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and M R Shah in its 140-page verdict, upholding the April 11, 2014 demolition order of the Allahabad High Court.

The top court said it is also affirming the order of the High Court for sanctioning prosecution under provisions of Uttar Pradesh Urban Development Act and Industrial Area Development Act, against the officials of the Supertech Ltd and and the officers of NOIDA for violations of the provisions of laws.

“The order passed by the High Court for the demolition of Apex and Ceyane (T-16 and T-17) does not warrant interference and the direction for demolition issued by the High Court is affirmed,” it said.

The top court noted that the two towers together have 915 apartments and 21 shops. According to Supertech, of the 633 people who booked the flats initially, 133 have moved out to other projects, 248 have taken refunds and 252 home buyers still have bookings with the company in the project.

The demolition exercise of the twin towers should be carried out within three months under the supervision of the New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (NOIDA) and an expert agency and the cost of the entire exercise has to be borne by Supertech Ltd, the court said in an order that was welcomed by the RWA after a nine-year-long legal battle against the builder.

The court said that a breach by the planning authority of its obligation to ensure compliance with building regulations is actionable at the instance of residents whose rights are infringed by the violation of law.

While Supertech Managing Director Mohit Arora said the company will file a review petition in the Supreme Court, the Noida authority said it will ensure full compliance with the Supreme Court’s demolition order.

NOIDA’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ritu Maheshwari said the authority will also ensure action against the department’s officials who are found guilty of violating rules in the Supertech case. The senior IAS officer, who joined the Noida Authority as its CEO in July 2019, said the violations occurred between 2004 and 2012.

The top court said the Noida authority made no effort to ensure compliance of the UP Apartments Act 2010, as a result of which the rights of the flat purchasers have been “brazenly violated”.

In 2012, the RWA had first taken up its battle against the builder to the Allahabad High Court, which had ordered the demolition of the under-construction twin towers on April 11, 2014, while upholding the rights of residents.

The builder, just after a month approached the top court, which directed a status quo on the demolition and creation of third-party rights. Residents of the housing project said truth has prevailed and that their faith in the apex court has grown stronger.

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