21 May-2014, Prabhati Nayak Mishra: In yet another setback to flat owners in Campa Cola Society, the Supreme Court vacation bench, on Tuesday, refused to list their fresh plea for hearing. They are required to vacate the premises by May 31, the deadline fixed by the court.
Seeking stay on demolition of the flats, the residents filed a fresh writ before the apex court contending that the civic authority had concealed facts before the Bombay high court as well as the top court.
Appearing before justices BS Chauhan and AK Sikri, their counsel Tripurari Rai, assisted by advocate Prakash Kumar Singh, sought stay on the proceedings claiming that through an RTI application, residents had come to know that BMC had collected penalty for regularising these flats sometime in 2005-2006, but had held this back from the courts.
The SC, however, declined to pass any order saying: “The stay order and other subsequent orders were passed by a different bench and this bench cannot modify them.”
“This information was in the knowledge of the respondents, but was deliberately suppressed, which has resulted in gross miscarriage of justice. If these facts had been placed before this court, the situation would have been different, and the order of February 27, 2013 (court directing residents to vacate the premises by May 31, 2014) would not have been passed, the plea said.
On February 27, 2013, SC ordered BMC to demolish the illegally-constructed flats, and on October 1 last year, refused to re-consider its earlier order and set November 11 deadline to get the 102 flats declared illegal, vacated.
However, on November 13, hours after over 100 agitated families clashed with the police while the civic squad began bulldozing its way into the premises, apex court stayed the demolition till further order, saying it was “badly disturbed by the development at the Campa Cola premise.”
The court order had come after it was informed by the Attorney General of India that no relocation plan for the affected residents could be worked out between the residents and the civic authority.
(Input source: DNA)