CRZ Violation: SC orders status quo

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In the year 2006, construction of the disputed building started in the Maradu arear after receiving due permission of gram panchayat (now upgraded to municipality by the Government). The issue arose when it was said that the said building violated the CRZ (Costal Regulation Zone) notification by KCZMA (Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority). A show cause notice was issued by the gram panchyat based on the notice of the Government stating violation of CRZ notification, which was later challenged in Kerala High Court. The construction continued based on an interim order’s of the Court and the notice was stayed. Further writ petition stating that the government lacked the power according to law to issue orders to local self-governing bodies, by the builders was withheld. This petition was challenged by the KCZMA in the Supreme Court, to which orders were passed on May 8. The builders argued before the court that proper permission was taken for the construction about which KCZMA was aware of. The construction is legal now taking into consideration that the area is categorized as CRZ-II, area which is permissible for construction as per the Coastal Zone Management plan prepared under 2011 CRZ notification. It is said the plan was approved by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests about which the bench was not told off. The bench was constituted b Arun Mishra and Navin Sinha, who passed the orders based on the report given by a three member committee appointed by the court. The report stated that the construction was no legal as at the time of the construction the area came under CRZ-III which is not fit for construction. It was also noted that the permission by the panchayat was given without concurrence of Coastal Zone Management Authority. The bench stated that for them the main issue was whether the construction was legal at that time or not? And not whether it is legal now? It was further argued that the KCZMA is not allowed to object now as it did not raise any objection during the construction. The bench also stated that the decision about demolition,

has been taken after keeping in mind the nature of flood prone area as per last year, and has directed to enforce the order within one month. Upon hearing this families residing in around 400 flats in five buildings knocked the doors of the court stating that they have the right to be heard. To this writ petition, the bench of Justice Indira Banerjee and Ajay Rastogi of vacation bench passed an order that the Court before ordering demolition did not give these families the right to be heard. As a result the bench said that it would be inappropriate for them to decide over the case of other bench, hence they passed an order of status quo for next six weeks (till the court re-opens). The matter was directed for listing in the first week of July before the respective bench.

by :-

shruti dhar

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