The Supreme Court on Tuesday, ordering demolition of Supertech twin towers in Noida and refund for the flat purchasers, also ordered prosecution of errant NOIDA and real estate company officials under Section 49 of Uttar Pradesh Urban Development (UPUD) Act for their “nefarious complicity”, which resulted in the construction of towers.
A bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and M.R. Shah said: “We confirm the directions of the High Court including the order of demolition and for sanctioning prosecution under Section 49 of the UPUD Act, as incorporated by Section 12 of the UPIAD Act 1976, against the officials of the appellant and the officers of NOIDA for violations of the UPIAD Act 1976 and UP Apartments Act 2010.”
It said that this case has revealed a “nefarious complicity” of the planning authority in the violation by the developer of the provisions of law.
The bench noted the construction of towers was commenced by Supertech in July 2009, five months before the sanction was received for the second revised plan on November 26, 2009, in spite of which NOIDA chose to take no action. “In spite of this condition, NOIDA 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,” it said.
In its 140-page judgment, the bench noted the real estate firm raised false pleas and attempted to mislead the court, while the officials of NOIDA have not acted bona fide in the discharge of their duties.
“The appellant (Supertech Ltd) has stooped to the point of producing a fabricated sanctioned plan,” said the judgment authored by Justice Chandrachud on the behalf of the bench.
The bench said the sanction given by NOIDA on November 26, 2009 and March 2, 2012 for the construction of T-16 (Ceyane) and T-17 (Apex) is violative of the minimum distance requirement under the NBR 2006, NBR 2010 and NBC 2005. The bench added that towers were constructed without complying with the building regulations, and the fire safety norms were also violated.
“The illegal construction of T-16 and T-17 has been achieved through acts of collusion between the officers of NOIDA and the appellant and its management,” said the top court, adding that demolition of towers should be carried out within three months and the builder will bear its cost.
In a relief for flat purchasers, the top court said all the amounts invested for the allotted flats together with interest at the rate of 12 per cent per annum payable with effect from the date of the respective deposits until the date of refund. “The appellant shall, within a period of two months, refund to all existing flat purchasers in Apex and Ceyane (T-16 and T -17), other than those to whom refunds have already been made,” said the bench.