The Supreme Court on Friday gave the state of Kerala a deadline of September 20 to demolish flats built in Kochi in violation of rules for Coastal Regulation Zones, IANS reported. The court came down heavily on the state government for not demolishing the flats yet, even four months after being told to do so.
“Not a day more, 10 days is enough,” Justice Arun Mishra told Kerala government counsel G Prakash when he sought at least four weeks to comply with the order, according to The Hindu. “Your state is known for not following the orders of this court. Do not disobey our order. We know what is happening and what you people are doing. Tell your chief secretary to be present here.”
The bench of Justice Mishra and Justice MR Shah asked the state’s chief secretary to be present before it on September 23.
On May 8, a bench headed by Mishra had ordered the demolition of 400 flats in coastal apartment complexes in Maradu municipality of Kochi, in the aftermath of the 2018 floods in the state. The bench had given a month for the purpose. However, a group of residents approached a vacation bench of the top court on June 10 to get a stay order, claiming Mishra’s bench had not heard their arguments. The bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and Ajay Rastogi stayed the demolition for six weeks.
On July 5, Justice Mishra said that the petitioners had played fraud to obtain the stay order from another bench when the court was in summer vacation. The court then dismissed the review petition.
“That bench should not have entertained the matter at all,” Mishra had said. “Should we draw contempt against you? I had specifically turned down the stay on the demolition, and then you went to other bench...have ethics gone to the dogs? Three to four senior counsels are involved in this fraud. Is money everything for you?”
On Friday, Mishra’s bench took suo motu cognisance of the non-compliance of the order.
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