Our orders not to affect Campa Cola pleas: SC

Jan 31 2015 : The Times of India (Mumbai)

SC: 2013 Orders Won't Impede Residents' Plea
Removing all ambiguity, the Supreme Court on Friday clarified that its two orders passed in 2013 would not come in the way of any representation made by the residents of the Campa Cola society in Worli for regularization of the 100-odd illegal flats that were served notice by the BMC for demolition. The CM on Friday said the state had told the SC that it would intervene, if the court wished, to resolve the issue of the illegal flats. The Supreme Court on Friday gave Campa Cola residents a reason to smile. It clarified that its two orders passed in 2013 would not come in the way of any representation made by the residents for regularization of the 96 illegal flats that were under a civic notice for demolition.

The residents of Worli's Campa Cola Compound, which has six buildings, had sought clarification of the orders after the SC upheld the BMC's action of issuing demolition notices.

On Friday , when the matter came up, the residents' counsels, including Prashant Bhushan, Kamini Jaiswal and Prasenjit Keswani, said all they wanted was a clarification from the apex court on whether they were allowed to apply to the state government, which ought to consider their regularization plea since there was unutilized FSI on the plot.

The SC bench, comprising Justices M Y Eqbal and Kurian Jospeh, asked if the state or the BMC had objections to the residents' plea. State counsel Aniruddha Mayee and BMC counsel Pallav Sisodia did not raise objections. The BMC's response is a change of stand from its position during the previous state regime.

The bench clarified that the court's February and October 2013 judgments would not come in the way of the state considering any representation “for regularization in accordance with law“.

The Campa buildings were constructed in the 1980s. The BMC found that the developer had constructed beyond the permitted six storeys--one building went up to even 20 storeys--and sought demolition of the illegal floors.

After a protracted court battle, that culminated in the SC and resulted in adverse orders for the residents, they said regularization was a possibility since there was permissible developable space in the compound and the BMC had earlier agreed to it, even accepting part payment of penalty from the builder.

CM: SC has allowed govt to intervene

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Friday the state had told the Supreme Court that if it wished, the state could intervene to resolve the Campa Cola illegal flats issue within the legal framework.

“Accordingly, the SC has decided,“ he said, without revealing the options the state may consider. Experts say Campa residents, by paying fees, can expect regularization of most of the 100-odd illegal flats because of unutilized FSI on the land. But a few flats cannot possibly be saved, said a government source. TNN