Maradu flats: Kerala seeks Solicitor-General’s legal assistance

Move to appoint Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta to represent state in SC comes after apex court raps govt for not complying with its May 8 demolition order 

Published: 13th September 2019 06:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th September 2019 06:03 AM   |  A+A-

Residents of Holy Faith H2O apartments in Maradu, Kochi, which are facing demolition, staging a hunger strike on Thiruvonam day (September 11) seeking redressal of their grievances | Albin Mathew

By Express News Service

KOCHI: The state government has approached Solicitor-General of India Tushar Mehta for legal assistance in the case relating to the demolition of four apartment complexes in Maradu municipality in Kochi.

The move to appoint Mehta comes after the Supreme Court last week pulled up the state government for not complying with its order passed on May 8 to demolish the flats within one month for violating the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules.

“We have met the Solicitor-General to find if he could represent the state government in the Supreme Court on September 23,” G Prakash, state’s senior standing counsel at the Supreme Court, told Express. 
In a direction issued on September 6, the SC bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra asked the state government to file a compliance report on its order by September 20. The Chief Secretary has been asked to appear before the apex court on September 23. “The government will file the compliance report on September 20, in which we will mention all the steps taken by the government to demolish the apartment complexes,” said Prakash.

The Maradu Municipality earlier this week issued an advertisement calling for tenders from agencies specialised in controlled implosion of flats. The civic body also issued eviction notices, which were pasted on the apartment complexes after the flat owners refused to accept them.

More than 400 homeowners of the four apartment complexes—Holy Faith H2O, Jain Housing, Golden Kaayaloram and Alpha Serene—have been fighting to protect their apartments, which were bought by paying Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1.5 crore, for the last four months. The SC order had said the apartments were built in violation of the CRZ III rules, which prohibit construction within 200 metres from the coast, backwaters, river and lake beds. 

Though the SC’s order on May 8 directed demolition of five apartment complexes, the fifth project by Holiday Heritage is yet to start.

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