Udayavni Special

Emerald Court RWA terrorising builder by making unwarranted claims, says Supertech to SC


PTI, Aug 3, 2021, 8:26 PM IST

New Delhi: Real estate major Supertech Ltd on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that its Emerald Court owner Resident Welfare Association, which has challenged the construction of two 40 storeys towers has been terrorising the builder by making unwarranted claims.

The resident welfare association said that Supertech has flouted the building safety norms and distance criteria, while constructing the twin towers by encroaching upon the garden area and thereby blocking the views, air and sunshine of residents.

A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and M R Shah was told by senior advocate Vikas Singh, representing Supertech Ltd that there was no violation of any norms as claimed by the resident welfare association in construction of twin towers.

The bench told Singh that what his client has done is palpably wrong as the towers were constructed by encroaching upon the green common area of the housing society.

Singh said, “The resident welfare association has been terrorising the builder by making unwarranted claims”.

The senior lawyer said that he will argue on the merit and counter the arguments of the residents’ welfare association on Wednesday. “They have been raising new points in the Supreme Court which were never argued before the High Court. I would like to put everything on the affidavit which I will file on Wednesday morning before the start of court’s work”, he said.

The bench allowed Singh to file the affidavit and posted the matter for Wednesday.

The top court is hearing appeals of Supertech Ltd and other petitions filed by home buyers for or against the Allahabad High Court’s 2014 order directing demolition of the twin towers for being in violation of norms.

During the hearing, advocate Gaurav Agrawal, appointed as amicus curiae in the matter, said that many home buyers, who have booked flats in the new twin towers were refunded the payment while many have chosen to wait. He said that if this court upholds the existence of these twin towers then the court will have to look into the problems faced by residents of tower-1 and tower-2 around 88 families, who are residing there.

Agrawal suggested that if the court upholds the Allahabad High Court order directing demolition of both the towers, then it has to be done by a specialised agency and as many residential towers are in close proximity.

“Like it was done in demolition of buildings in Maradu of Kerala, the people will have to be evacuated and then the demolition could be done by using explosives. The possibility of impact on residential towers due to the controlled explosion cannot be ruled out as all these buildings are connected with a common basement,” Agrawal said.

He further suggested that if the court decides that the twin buildings are in violation of norms, then it will be better that the builder is asked to pay double the compensation to residents of tower-1 and tower-2, so that they can purchase a flat nearby in the same area.

The bench said that it cannot force the homebuyers to leave to which the amicus said that it has to be with consent.

He said that the court has to balance the rights of 88 families with over 300 families residing in other residential towers of the Emerald Court project and take a considerable view.

Advocate Ravindra Kumar, appearing for NOIDA authority said that there was nothing wrong in the sanction accorded by it to the building plan and no norms were violated at all. “Being an authority, I am not privy nor I am expected to be privy to the dealings between home buyers and the builder and what was shown to them in the brochure of the project,” he said.

Kumar said that it is very easy to level any allegations against a public authority but it is difficult to substantiate. At the outset, senior advocate Jayant Bhushan, appearing for residents’ welfare association said the builder has constructed the two towers by encroaching upon the common green area meant for the residents, without their consent. He alleged that Supertech have even produced a fake plan of the building before the High Court saying it has been approved by NOIDA.

“They have shown us something in the brochure and constructed something else. What was shown us in the brochure was a garden and instead has come up with huge permanent concrete towers. The builder is now claiming it was part of the original plan itself. This is completely wrong. They hid information from us,” he said.

Bhushan said that even NBCC has found that the new buildings do not meet the 16-metre distance criteria and there is no dead end site having no doors or windows or a path, which would have reduced the distance between two buildings as per by-laws. “If there is a garden, you cannot make a building there. You cannot cut the share of the common area without the consent of flat owners,” he said.

The real estate firm had moved the top court challenging the Allahabad High Court order to demolish the company’s two 40-storey towers in a Noida housing project.

The two towers, Apex and Ceyane, together have 857 apartments. Of these, families are residing in 650 flats. The towers are a part of Supertech’s Emerald Court project. On April 11, 2014 the Allahabad High Court ordered the demolition of the two buildings within four months and the refund of money to apartment buyers.

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