‘Your attitude is of defiance’: SC raps govt over Kochi flats

The Asian Age.

India, All India

Salve said that the flats in question are spread over an area of more than 5,000 square.

Supreme Court of India (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday slammed the Kerala government for turning a Nelson’s eye toward the unauthorised construction in eco-sensitive coastal zone and not complying with its order to demolish 400 plus flats constructed in the Maradu panchayat in Ernakulam district of Kerala.

A top court bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Justice S. Ravindra Bhat told the chief Secretary of Kerala that he would be “personally responsible” for repercussions of the unauthorised constriction in the eco-sensitive coastal zone in violation of Coastal Regulation Zone guidelines.

Expressing “shock” that in the entire eco-sensitive zone, unauthorised construction was taking place, and the administration appears to be shielding such illegal activity, Justice Mishra asked, “Can’t you catch these official, they are playing with nature.”

“We are shocked that in the entire area devastation is taking place, and you are protecting them. We are shocked this is your attitude. No permission from competent authority. It should not have happened in any civilised country. We are going to fix the responsibility,” said Justice Mishra.

Justice Mishra also slammed the chief secretary, stating that the affidavit submitted by him on the issue does not even state the date by which the government can complete the demolition of the apartments.

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“We can make out your intention from the way you have filed the affidavit. You are in patent breach of law. Your attitude is of defiance,” Justice Mishra added.

The chief secretary was present in the court in pursuance to September 6, 2019 order wherein the court had set September 20 deadline for demolishing the flats.

However, court deferred the hearing till September 27, 2019, Friday, as senior counsel Harish Salve, appearing for Kerala government, told the court that they are in the process of putting in place an action plan for the demolition of the flats constructed  in breach of the guidelines.

Mr Salve said that the flats in question are spread over an area of more than 5,000 square and could not be brought down by using explosives and had to be pulled down manually.

The top court by its September 6, order had set a deadline of September 20, for the demolition of 400 flats that were unauthorisedly constructed in Maradu municipality in Ernakulam district.

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