The Supreme Court on Monday sought response from the Kerala government on pleas by Kochi's Maradu flat owners, whose apartments were recently demolished for being constructed in violation of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms, seeking setting up of a tribunal for exact valuation of the land.
A bench of justices Arun Mishra and Indira Banerjee issued notice to the Kerala government on the application filed by the flat owners, who sought exact valuation of their property.
Senior advocate PS Patwalia, appearing for some flat owners, said a retired apex court judge should be appointed as a tribunal judge for assessing the exact valuation of the property.
He said otherwise they will be at the receiving end for not being able to get the price, which they have paid to the builders of the apartment.
Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, also appearing for another set of flat owners, sought a similar relief and said that a tribunal should be appointed to assess their loss.
Senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, appearing for some home buyers, said on the apex court directive they have been paid an interim compensation of Rs 25, lakh but the exact value was much more and they need to be paid more for the loss.
He said the land on which apartments were constructed can be monetised so that the flat owners can get more money to compensate their loss.
The bench issued notice in all the intervention applications filed by the flat owners and sought response from the state government in four weeks.
It listed the matter on March 23.
Kerala to submit list of all buildings violating CRZ
The SC also asked Kerala Chief Secretary Tom Jose to submit the list of all buildings constructed in violation of CRZ in the state, on a plea given by filmmaker Major Ravi. The director had lost his flat when the Maradu apartments were demolished.
On January 13, the apex court had directed the Kerala government to remove the debris, including from backwaters, of four apartment complexes in Kochi's Maradu area that were demolished on the apex court's order.
The top court had asked the state government to restore the area by removing the debris as early as possible and file a report.
Regarding other issues, including setting up of one court to deal with pleas filed by buyers to initiate appropriate proceedings against the builder, the court had asked them to file proper applications.
On May 8, 2019 the apex court had directed that these buildings be removed within a month as they were constructed in a notified CRZ, which was part of the tidally-influenced water body in Kerala.
It had passed the order after taking note of a report of a committee, which stated that when the buildings were built, the area was already notified as a CRZ and construction was prohibited.
It had on September 27 last year directed demolition of these flats within 138 days, a timeline given by the Kerala government, and had asked the state to pay Rs 25 lakh interim compensation to each flat owner within four weeks.
The top court had on September 30 last year refused to entertain a plea of flat owners seeking stay on its order to demolish the apartment complexes.
The counsel appearing for Kerala had earlier told the apex court that in compliance of its earlier order, the state had paid Rs 27.99 crore as interim compensation to the Maradu flat owners and it will be paying Rs 33.51 crore more to them.