The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a 2014 Allahabad High Court order directing the demolition of 40-floor twin towers built by real estate firm Supertech in Noida for violating construction norms, reported Bar and Bench.

A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah directed that the demolition should be completed within three months and the builder bear the expenses. The court also ordered the firm to reimburse owners of flats in the building the amount they had paid.

The Central Building Research Institute will oversee the demolition, reported Live Law.

The court held that the sanction given by New Okhla Industrial Development Authority for the project in November 2009 diluted safety standards and violated building regulations such as fire safety norms and minimum distance requirement between towers, according to NDTv.

It also said that there were instances of collusion between the development authority officers and the builders in facilitating the construction against the norms.

“Illegal construction has to be dealt with strictly,” the court said in its verdict.

The bench also observed that the consent of the individual flat owners was needed before the construction of the building under the UP Apartment Act as the common area of the complex got reduced due to the addition of new flats.

“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 court noted.

Allahabad HC verdict

On April 11, 2014, the Allahabad High Court had directed the New Okhla Industrial Development Authority to demolish the twin towers in Noida’s Sector 93 within four months from the date of filing the copy of the order. It had also asked the realtor to refund payments to flat buyers with 14% interest in three months.

A bench of Justices VK Shukla and Suneet Kumar had also directed Supertech to bear the expenses of the demolition and removal of the debris. The court had said that the development authority officers will recover the amount as arrears of land revenue if the company failed to bear the expenses.

However, in May 2014, the Supreme Court bench led by then Chief Justice of India RM Lodha had stayed the demolition order. It had ordered the status quo to be maintained and restricted the realtor from selling or transferring any flats in these two towers.