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Fresh plea filed against order to demolish Maradu flats

In a curative petition, 40 families seek an opportunity to be heard once

Forty families, whose high-rise apartments in Kerala’s Maradu face demolition for violation of the coastal regulation zone rules, have filed a curative petition in the Supreme Court, arguing that they had never been given a chance to be heard before the court passed the order on May 8.

The petition, represented by Supreme Court advocate E.M.S. Anam, is likely to be listed this week for consideration.

The Golden Kayaloram Residents Association, represented by secretary Thomas Kariath, said a “fraud” was played on the court by the committee of local officials that enquired into whether the high-rises violated the coastal regulation zone rules. “The committee, without making any local enquiry or study, conclude that the area falls under the Coastal Regulation Zone III (CRZ-III), which is a ‘no construction area’ as Maradu is a panchayat,” the residents said in their petition.

They argued that “a fraud was played upon the court by the enquiry committee by classifying the project and the building under CRZ-III, when, in reality, the project falls under CRZ-II, under which the building where it stands is a permissible construction”.

The resident said the State government had show-caused the other three project proponents/builders for violations of the coastal regulation zone rules, but the Golden Kayaloram project was never once found to have fallen foul of the rules.

“The case of Golden Kayaloram is a case apart from the rest,” the petition claimed.

The residents stated that they did not get an opportunity to raise the errors in the findings of the enquiry committee. These findings had served as the basis for the court to declare the structures illegal and order their demolition.

They sought an open court hearing to “prevent grave miscarriage of justice as the demolition process will illegally deprive the residents of 40 flats of Golden Kayaloram project of their life savings and hard-earned income invested in the flats in occupation for the past 8-10 years”.

On May 8, 2019, the court ordered the demolition of four residential complexes in the Maradu municipality in Ernakulam district on the findings of the enquiry committee. The residents of Golden Kayaloram subsequently approached the court with a review petition to set aside the order, claiming they were not heard. The court dismissed this petition on July 10.

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