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'Collusion Between NOIDA Officers & Builders': Supreme Court Directs Demolition Of Illegal Twin Towers Of Supertech Within 3 Months

Shruti Kakkar
31 Aug 2021 6:48 AM GMT
Collusion Between NOIDA Officers & Builders: Supreme Court Directs Demolition Of Illegal Twin Towers Of Supertech Within 3 Months
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The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld an order passed by the Allahabad High Court directing the demolition of twin 40 storey towers in the Emerald Court project of Supertech Ltd in Noida for violation of building norms."The order passed by the High Court for the demolition of Apex and Ceyane (T-16 and T-17) does not warrant interference and the direction for demolition issued by...

The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld an order passed by the Allahabad High Court directing the demolition of twin 40 storey towers in the Emerald Court project of Supertech Ltd in Noida for violation of building norms.

"The order passed by the High Court for the demolition of Apex and Ceyane (T-16 and T-17) does not warrant interference and the direction for demolition issued by the High Court is affirmed", the bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah observed.

The work of demolition should be carried out by the appellant Supertech within a period of three months at its own cost under the supervision of NOIDA officials. The demolition shall be overlooked by the Central Building Research Institute(CBRI) to ensure safe demolition.

The work of demolition shall be carried out by Supertech at its own cost under the supervision of the officials of NOIDA. In order to ensure that the work of demolition is carried out in a safe manner without affecting the existing pleadings, NOIDA shall consult its own experts and experts from Central Building Research Institute Roorkee.

The work of demolition shall be carried out under the overall supervision of CBRI. In the event that CBRI expresses its inability to do so, another expert agency shall be nominated by NOIDA. The cost of demolition and all incidental expenses including the fees payable to the experts shall be borne by the appellant(Supertech).

Supertech should within a period of two months refund to all existing flat purchasers in Apex and Ceyane (T-16 and T -17), other than those to whom refunds have already been made, all the amounts invested for the allotted flats together with interest at the rate of twelve per cent per annum payable with effect from the date of the respective deposits until the date of refund in terms of the judgment.

The Court also directed the builder to pay a cost of Rupees 2 crores to the Resident Welfare Association.

The bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah observed that there was collusion between NOIDA officers and the builders in facilitating the construction in violation of norms and the complicity of the NOIDA authorities was "writ large" in the present case.

"The record of the case is replete with instances which shows collusion of Noida authority with the builder...Collusion is writ large in the case. High Court has correctly observed this collusion aspect", Justice Chandrachud read out the excerpts from the judgment.

"Illegal construction has to be dealt with strictly", the bench observed in the judgment. The judgment also has observations regarding the need to preserve environment amid the rising needs for urban housing.

"The protection of environment and well being of the people who occupy this has to be balanced with the need of increasing demand for urban housing", the bench stated.

The Supreme Court observed that the consent of the individual flat owners was necessary under the UP Apartment Act before the twin towers was constructed as the common area was reduced by adding new flats. However, with the collusion of authorities, the construction of twin towers was done illegally.  

"The illegal construction of T-16 and T-17 has been achieved through acts of collusion between the officers of NOIDA and the appellant and its management", the Court said. Full copy of the judgment is awaited.

Sanction directed to be given to prosecute NOIDA officials

The Supreme Court also confirmed the High Court's direction to the competent authority under to grant sanction to prosecute the NOIDA officials who acted in collusion.

"..we confirm the directions of the High Court including the order of demolition and for sanctioning prosecution under Section 49 of the UPUD Act, as incorporated by Section 12 of the UPIAD Act 1976, against the officials of the appellant and the officers of NOIDA for violations of the UPIAD Act 1976 and UP Apartments Act 2010", the Court ordered.

The Supreme Court Bench comprising the then Chief Justice RM Lodha, Justices Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph stayed the demolition of two buildings of the developer in Noida. It had directed for maintaining the status quo and had restricted Supertech from selling or transferring any flat in these two towers.

Violations of regulations strike at the very root of urban plannin

The Court observed that when regulations are brazenly violated by developers, more often than not with the connivance of regulatory authorities, it strikes at the very core of urban planning, thereby directly resulting in an increased harm to the environment and a dilution of safety standards.

Hence, the court affirmed that "illegal construction has to be dealt with strictly to ensure compliance with the rule of law."


"The judgments of this Court spanning the last four decades emphasize the duty of planning bodies, while sanctioning building plans and enforcing building regulations and bye-laws to conform to the norms by which they are governed. A breach by the planning authority of its obligation to ensure compliance with building regulations is actionable at the instance of residents whose rights are infringed by the violation of law. Their quality of life is directly affected by the failure of the planning authority to enforce compliance. Unfortunately, the diverse and unseen group of flat buyers suffers the impact of the unholy nexus between builders and planners. Their quality of life is affected the most. Yet, confronted with the economic might of developers and the might of legal authority wielded by planning bodies, the few who raise their voices have to pursue a long and expensive battle for rights with little certainty of outcomes. As this case demonstrates, they are denied access to information and are victims of misinformation. Hence, the law must step in to protect their legitimate concerns."

Summary of findings of the Supreme Court regarding violations by Supertech

The Supreme Court summarized its findings as follows :

The land allotted to appellant under the original lease agreement and the supplementary lease deed constitute one plot;

The land which was allotted through the supplementary lease deed forms a part of original Plot No 4, and would be governed by the same terms and conditions as the original lease deed;

The sanction given by NOIDA on 26 November 2009 and 2 March 2012 for the construction of T-16 and T-17 is violative of the minimum distance requirement under the NBR 2006, NBR 2010 and NBC 2005;

An effort was made to get around the violation of the minimum distance requirement by representing that T-1 together with T-16 and T-17 form one cluster of buildings in the same block. This representation was sought to be bolstered by providing a space frame between T-1 and T-17. The case that T-1, T-16 and T-17 are part of one block is directly contrary to the appellant's stated position in its representations to the flat buyers as well as in the counter affidavit before the High Court. The suggestion that T-1, T-16 and T-17 are part of one block is an after-thought and contrary to the record;

After realizing that the building block argument would not pass muster, another false case was sought to be set up with the argument that T-1 and T-17 are dead end sides, thereby obviating the need to comply with the minimum distance requirements. This argument is belied by the comprehensive report submitted by NBCC. The sides of T-1 and T-17 facing each other are not dead end sides since both the sides have vents/egresses facing the other building;

By constructing T-16 and T-17 without complying with the Building Regulations, the fire safety norms have also been violated;

The first revised plan of 29 December 2006 contained a clear provision for a garden area adjacent to T-1. In the second revised plan of 26 November 2009, the provision for garden area was obliterated to make way for the construction of Apex and Ceyane (T- 16 and T – 17). The common garden area in front of T-1 was eliminated by the construction of T-16 and T-17. This is violative of the UP Apartments Act 2010 since the consent of the flat owners was not sought before modifying the plan promised to the flat owners; and

T-16 and T-17 are not part of a separate and distinct phase (Phase–II) with separate amenities and infrastructure. The supplementary lease deed stipulates that the they are part of the original project. Hence, the consent of the individual flat owners of the original fifteen towers, individually or through the RWA, was a necessary requirement under the UP Apartments Act 2010 and UP 1975 Act before T-16 and T-17 could have been constructed, since they necessarily reduced the undivided interest of the individual flat owners in the common area by adding new flats and increasing the number from 650 to 1500; and

The illegal construction of T-16 and T-17 has been achieved through acts of collusion between the officers of NOIDA and the appellant and its management.

What Was The Allahabad High Court Order?

A division bench of Allahabad High Court comprising Justice VK Shukla and Justice Suneet Kumar on April 11, 2014 had directed the NOIDA Authority to demolish Towers 16 & 17 (Apex & Ceyane) situated on Plot 4, Sector 93A NOIDA within a period of four months from the date of filing of the certified copy. The High Court had also directed real estate firm Supertech to bear the expenses of the demolition and removal of the debris, failing which it shall be recovered by NOIDA Authority as arrears of land revenue.

It had also observed that the officials of the Supertech and the officers of the NOIDA Authority had exposed themselves for prosecution under the Uttar Pradesh Industrial Area Development Act, 1976 and Uttar Pradesh Apartment (Promotion of Construction, Ownership & Maintenance) Act, 2010. The High Court had also said that sanction for prosecution as required under section 49 of the U.P. Urban Development Act, 1973, as incorporated by section 12 of the U.P. Industrial Area Development Act, 1976, would be approved by the Competent Authority within a period of three months from the date of filing the order's certified copy.

Directions to SuperTech to reimburse the consideration received from the private parties, who have booked apartments in Apex & Ceyane (T 16 and 17) along with 14% interest compounded annually within four months from the date of filing of certified copy of this order were also issued by the division bench of the High Court.

Case Title: Supertech Ltd v Emerald Court Owner Resident Welfare Association and Ors

Citation : LL 2021 SC 407

Click here to read/download the judgment




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