The Supreme Court has clarified that each flat owner in the soon to be demolished apartment complexes in Maradu, Kochi is entitled to receive compensation of Rs 25 lakhs, regardless of the amount stated in the sale deeds.
The bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra and Ravindra Bhat passed orders in this regard on Friday, after noticing that the Court-appointed committee headed by former Kerala HC judge Justice K Balakrishnan Nair had directed the disbursal of lesser amounts based on the consideration shown in the sale deeds.
Though the top court observed that this course adopted by the Committee was “proper” , it said that disbursal of Rs 25 lakhs as compensation was appropriate to suitably rehabilitate the owners, taking into account the escalation of value of flats.
“As such, though the view taken by the Committee, (in as much as it decided to disburse the amount reflected in the sale deeds) was proper, however, considering the fact that the value of the flats has increased manifold by now, it would be appropriate to direct disbursement of compensation of Rs.25 Lacs to each of the flat owner so that they are suitably rehabilitated”, stated the order passed by the SC.
Some of the flat owners submitted before the Court that though they had paid more than Rs. 50 lakhs for the flats, the builders executed the sale deeds for lesser amounts. The Court has requested the Committee to examine if such claims by owners are supported by documents obtaining loan etc, to determine the actual amount paid by them. The payment of compensation must be confined to Rs 25 lakhs at this juncture, added the Court.
“We request the Committee to go into this aspect also in case the claim made by the land owners is supported by some documents by obtaining loans etc., and it may determine actually what amount was paid and is payable to them. Disbursement shall be confined at this juncture to Rs.25 Lacs to each flat owner per flat”.
The Court has requested the the Committee to associate builders, flat owners associations etc., in the inquiry proceedings so that it is able to work out the amounts after hearing the interested parties.
The Court has also directed the builders – – Alfa Venture (P) Ltd, Holy Faith Builders and Developers (P) Ltd, Jain Housing and Construction Ltd and K P Varkey and Builders -to deposit a provisional amount of Rs 20 crores before the Committee. The Committee can direct the builders to deposit more amount, if it feels so. The top court said the attached bank account of the builders will be detached for depositing this amount with the committee.
On September 27, the Court had directed the Kerala Government to pay Rs. 25 lakhs as immediate interim compensation to each flat owner, and appointed a committee headed by Justice Balakrishnan Nair to assess the actual amount of compensation payable to the owners of flats. The Court held that the amount will be recoverable from the builders at a later stage.
The four apartment complexes were ordered to be demolished on May 8 on the basis of findings that they were built in violation of CRZ regulations.