Truth has prevailed: Emerald Court residents on SC order to Supertech to pull down illegal towers

Residents said the housing project has 660 flats across 15 towers but in 2009 work started on the twin towers, coming up in the violation of building by-laws

Truth has prevailed: Emerald Court residents on SC order to Supertech to pull down illegal towers
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PTI

With the Supreme Court ordering demolition of Supertech's 40-storey illegal twin towers in Noida Sector 93, residents of the realty firm's Emerald Court on Tuesday said the truth has prevailed and their faith in the apex court has grown stronger.

Buyers who have invested their money in these towers, however, hoped their interest would be protected, even as the Supertech Group said it would be filing a review petition in the case.

Emerald Court residents heaved a sigh of relief that their decade-long legal battle came to an end with the top court ordering the demolition of the two illegal high-rise towers on their premises.

Residents said the housing project has 660 flats across 15 towers but in 2009 work started on the twin towers, coming up in the violation of building by-laws but they were told the construction was part of a separate project.

"We, however, insisted on seeing drawings and approvals of the project which appeared to be huge and against rules stipulating a certain distance between two such structures. After several efforts, we got to see the drawings and were shocked after realising that we were being taken for a ride by the builder with brazen violation of rules," S K Sharma, former president of Emerald Court's RWA, told PTI.

After this, some of the residents in 2012 moved the Allahabad High Court, which ordered the demolition of the two towers two years later but the realtor challenged it in the Supreme Court.

An apex court bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah Tuesday said the April 11, 2014 verdict of the Allahabad High Court does not deserve any interference.

"Truth has prevailed and our faith in the Supreme Court has grown stronger. We had knocked all other doors over the years as we went against the influential builder," the 74-year-old Sharma said.

Another resident of Emerald Court whose husband was part of the RWA's legal committee said the top court's order has come as a victory for all residents who stood against wrong being done.

"There's no doubt that my husband would have been very happy with this decision of the court," she said, recalling her husband as a brave man who fought injustice for around a decade before succumbing to COVID-19 this year.

Hailing the verdict, the RWA's current president Rajesh Rana, said the top court's order has sent residents of Emerald Court on cloud nine after a long-fought legal battle.

"We had knocked the door of the judiciary with hope for justice and justice has been done. We are thankful to the court and have our faith reaffirmed in judicial system," Rana told PTI.

While the Supertech Group said it would file a review petition in the case, investors of the twin-towers hoped their interests would be protected.

"On the one hand, while it looks like a closure of a long-pending issue, on the other it is going to be a big loss for those who have invested in these towers. I hope their interests and their hard-earned money invested in these flats are protected," a buyer who bought an apartment in one of the towers in 2009 told PTI.

Meanwhile, Noida and Greater Noida residents' bodies hailed the top court order, which slammed the local development authority for colluding with the builder.

Noida Federation of Apartment Owners Associations (NOFAA) president Rajiva Singh hailed the SC order as indeed a landmark judgment and a great win not only for the Emerald Court's RWA team but the families of the entire home buyers' community.

"The judgment leaves the buyers with immense confidence in the legal system of the country. This should be the beginning for the much-needed corrections in the system, the way our developers and the governing bodies operate," Singh said.

Manish Kumar of the Noida Extension Flat Owners Welfare Association (NEFOWA) said the order is in favour of the residents and a great blow to Supertech Ltd and Noida Authority.

"The order also states that action is to be taken against erring officials of the Noida Authority and whosoever is found (or named) guilty, must be prosecuted and penalised heavily," Kumar said.

The apex court has directed that the twin towers be demolished within three months and all demolition expenses are borne by Supertech.

The Noida Authority also said it would ensure full compliance of the SC order and ensure action against its officials and those of the real estate group who are found guilty of violations in the episode that occurred between 2004 and 2012.

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