At a hearing in the Kant Enclave matter on Monday, the Supreme Court ordered real estate developer R Kant & Co. to deposit its full share of the penalty levied for constructing and selling commercial real estate on forest land in Faridabad. The developer has been given till April 25, after it sought an extension on its original April 22 deadline. Failing this, the court said it would take “serious action” against the contemnors.
“All the contemnors are directed to be present in the Court on the next date of hearing. They are put on notice that in case the amount is not deposited on or before 25.04.2019, the same shall be viewed seriously,” the apex court said in its record of proceedings of the hearing.
In September last year, a Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Madan Lokur had ruled that Kant Enclave, a residential colony in Faridabad, had been built illegally on forest land notified under the Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1900 (PLPA ). The department of town and country planning and the builder were jointly asked to pay a penalty of ₹16.5 crore in damages.
The former has already deposited an amount of ₹8.25 crore with the Supreme Court Registrar, Sanjeev Mann, senior town planner, Faridabad, confirmed. R Kant & Co., however, has deposited ₹7.5 crore and is yet to pay the remaining amount. In November last year, the developer had filed a review petition seeking that the penalty be rescinded, but this was rejected in March.
Meanwhile, Mann said that demolitions of illegal properties in Kant Enclave would continue as per Supreme Court orders. A total of 14 structures have been razed so far, with another seven slated to be demolished soon.
The Supreme Court is also yet to hold further hearings on the status of the Haryana government’s PLPA amendment bill, which it halted on March 1, after Ranjit Singh, amicus curiae, brought it to the court’s attention during the Kant Enclave proceedings. Pawan Updhyay, a member of the Kant Enclave Plot Buyers’ Association and advocate for multiple occupants in the matter, who was present at the April 22 hearing, said that the PLPA issue was unlikely to come up before the court unless the PLPA amendment bill, which was passed in February, was enacted into law.
“We will have to wait and see whether the state government chooses to pursue the matter after election results,” he said.
Representatives of R Kant & Co. did not respond despite repeated requests.
Apr 24, 2021 02:01 IST