The Supreme Court on Friday fixed August 28 for the demolition of Supertech's twin 40-storey towers in its Emerald project in Noida and also relaxed the time frame till September 4 in case of delays arising from technical or weather conditions.
The apex court had earlier fixed August 21 as the date of demolition of the buildings, which have been held illegal for a violation of norms.
A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and A S Bopanna granted a "bandwidth" of one week from August 29 to September 4 to the agencies engaged in the demolishing exercise of the twin towers on grounds that there may be some marginal delay in razing the huge buildings due to technical and weather conditions.
"Noida has stated that in view of the fact that certain work prior to demolition has to be completed by August 25, 2022, and as recommended by CSIR-CBRI, the date of demolition may be confirmed as August 28, 2022, with a "bandwidth of seven days" between August 29, 2022, to September 4, 2022, in order to take into account any marginal delay on account of technical reasons or weather conditions. The request made by Noida is acceded to", the bench said, while taking on record the status report of NOIDA.
It said that all parties including Noida, Supertech Ltd, CSIR-CBRI, and Edifice Engineering shall strictly abide by the directions which have been issued earlier and those which have been issued in the present order.
The bench said that Noida shall continue to engage with CSIR-CBRI and Edifice Engineering at periodic intervals prior to the date of demolition so that any further requisitions that CSIR-CBRI (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Central Building Research Institute) may have towards the safe conduct of the demolition process are observed.
Earlier, on May 17, the top court had extended till August 28 the deadline for demolition of the twin towers on the advice of experts.
The top court's order had then come on an application filed by Interim Resolution Professional (IRP) seeking an extension of the timeline of May 22, 2022, by three months till August 28 after the agency appointed for demolition, Edifice Engineering sought time on grounds of the slight change in design after carrying out test blasts.
"In view of the expert opinion, time for completing the work of demolition is extended until August 28, 2022. A status report shall be filed by NOIDA after convening a meeting of all stakeholders on the steps which are being taken between the date of this order and a week prior to the next date of listing", the top court had said.
On February 28, the NOIDA authority informed the top court that the work for the demolition has commenced and will be razed completely by May 22.
The authority had in its earlier status report said after the demolition of these massive structures, the entire debris will be cleared of the site by August 22.
Earlier, the erstwhile management of the real estate firm Supertech Ltd informed the top court that it had filed an appeal before the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) challenging March 25, 2022, by which a corporate insolvency resolution process has been initiated against the company.
The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) had declared it bankrupt on a plea filed by the Union Bank of India for non-payment of around Rs 432 crore worth of dues.
On February 7, the top court directed the authorities to commence within two weeks the demolition of the twin towers.
It had directed the NOIDA CEO to convene a meeting within 72 hours in which all the agencies concerned shall be present to finalise the schedule for demolition.
On January 12, the top court pulled up the builder for not complying with its orders to demolish the twin 40-story towers in sector 93 of NOIDA and warned that its directors will be sent to jail for "playing truant with the court".
On August 31 last year, the top court ordered the demolition of the towers under construction within three months for violation of building norms in "collusion” with NOIDA officials, holding that illegal construction has to be dealt with strictly to ensure compliance with the rule of law.
The NOIDA authority had received a rap on its knuckles as the top court pointed out multiple incidents of collusion of its officials with Supertech Ltd in the Emerald Court project and violations of norms by the realty major in the construction of the twin towers.
The top court had directed that the entire amount of home buyers be refunded with 12 percent interest from the time of the booking and the RWA of Emerald Court project be paid Rs 2 crore for the harassment caused due to the construction of the twin towers, which would have blocked sunlight and fresh air to the existing residents of the housing project adjoining the national capital.