SC rejects Campa Cola residents petition

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the plea of Mumbai’s Campa Cola Housing Society residents seeking injunction against the demolition of illegal flats.

Over hundred flat owners have been directed to vacate the premises by May 31.

Senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, appearing for flat owners, submitted that about 140 families who were living there for 30 years had earlier been given liberty to proceed against builders.

He submitted that it was a big humanitarian problem as those families had no other place to go. The counsel said he was not advancing any arguments on legal grounds as it is merely a mercy plea.

The court, however, reminded the counsel that the order had been passed for demolition which was to be obeyed.

“We are of the view that the present petition is misconceived and hence, dismissed,” a bench of justices J S Khehar and C Nagappan said, adding all the cases reaching the apex court had humanitarian aspect. The bench also did not agree to the submission that the illegal flats should not be demolished till the time apex court decided the curative petition of residents association in the case.The court also rejected the residents’ plea challenging the order to vacate the premises by May 31.

The association had urged the court to pass a direction to Maharashtra government and Municipal Corporation of Greater Bombay not to demolish the illegal flats in the buildings till the apex court decided the petition.

It also claimed that the association had discovered certain facts under the Right to Information Act which required to be considered afresh.

The apex court had in November last directed the residents of 102 unauthorised flats in the society to give an undertaking within six weeks that they would vacate the flats by May 31. Seven high-rise buildings of Campa Cola Housing Society were constructed between 1981 and 1989. The builders had permission for only six floors.

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