Law
The residents are now left with only one option - to file a curative petition.
Midhun J

Residents of the four apartments in Kochi built violating Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms suffered yet another setback with the Supreme Court on Thursday rejecting review petitions filed by apartment owners and builders.

A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said there were no grounds to review the order. Alfa Ventures Private Limited, Holy Faith builders and developers — Jain Housing and Construction Limited and Golden Kayaloram Residents Association, had approached SC with the review petition. The petitioners had stated that there were glitches in the order and that buildings were constructed on land permissible for construction.

The order put forward by SC on May 8 had stated that four apartments in Kochi at Maradu municipality limits were built violating CRZ norms and that the buildings have to be demolished within a month.

Residents were able to get a stay for a month from the vacation bench headed by Justices Indira Banerjee and Ajay Rastogi on grounds that their arguments were not heard. But Justice Mishra in a later hearing came down heavily on the petitioners’ counsel for approaching a vacation bench of the court for stay.

Despite this, the residents were hopeful in filing the review petition. But with the apex court rejecting it, there is only one option left for people living in the four apartments, which is to file a curative petition.

“We absolutely have no idea what to do next. Even if we file a curative petition, we have no hope as the same bench in SC which gave orders for demolition will consider it,” said a resident of Kayaloram apartment.

Permit was given for the four apartments for construction by Maradu gram panchayat in 2005. In 2010, the local body was raised to a municipality. It was during a vigilance probe by the Local Self Government Department when it was first found that builders were given permit violating CRZ norms.