The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the unauthorised flats owners at the Campa Cola Society in Mumbai to vacate the premises by May 31, 2014, as no specific proposal could be worked out to provide them space in the compound for new construction.
The apex court passed the order as Attorney General G E Vahanvati said, "after considering all aspects we are not in a position to work out any specific proposal".
A Bench headed by justice G S Singhvi, which on November 13 had stayed the demolition of the unauthorised flats by taking cognisance of media reports, said it had taken the humanitarian ground into consideration to extend the date of demolition from November 11, 2013, to May 31, 2014 as the Attorney General had sought time to come out with a specific proposal for permanent solution.
"Having considered the matter in entirety, we deem it fit to extend the period till May 31 by which the occupants must vacate. This is subject to the undertaking to be given by occupants within six weeks," the bench said.
It said "if no undertaking is given, the municipal corporation will be entitled to take action in accordance with the order of February 27".
The court on February 27 had ordered the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to demolish the illegally constructed flats and on October 1 refused to re-consider its earlier order and had set November 11 deadline to vacate 102 flats which were declared as illegal.
However, on November 13, hours after over 100 agitated families clashed with the police while the civic squad was bulldozing its way into the premises, the apex court had stayed the demolition till further order, saying it was "badly disturbed by the development that is taking place at Campa Cola premises in Mumbai."
In a ray of hope for the occupants of the unauthorised flats, the bench had taken note of the submission of the Attorney General that there was a need for permanent solution and he will come out with some specific proposal.
Vahanvati had said unauthorised construction has to go but the flat owners should be given opportunity to build up building available in the campus without affecting the apex court order.
He had said since there is space in the compound, the residents should be allowed to get approval of the building plan as originally it was planned to have nine towers and the builders came out with seven by accommodating all buyers in them.
Seven high-rise buildings of Campa Cola Housing society were constructed between 1981 and 1989. The builders had permission for only six floors. One of the compound buildings, Midtown, has 20 floors and another building, Orchid, has got 17 floors.