Breather for Campa Cola residents, SC stays demolition for six months
Civic, police teams break down gate, climb cars and clash with residents
MUMBAI: As civic teams and police officials broke open the gate, entered Worli’s Campa Cola compound after a scuffle with residents, climbing over cars parked to block access, and started disconnecting power supply to illegal flats, the Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday stepped in and stayed the demolition for six months, giving residents of the 96 flats another reprieve.
The two-hour drama, which saw the police lathicharging residents and breaking down the gate with a bulldozer, ended abruptly after the court took suo motu cognisance of media reports and stayed the demolition that it had ordered until May 2014.
A bench headed by Justice GS Singhvi ordered the stay soon after the judge arrived at court around 10.30am. He said he was “badly disturbed by the developments”.
“More than a legal issue, it’s a human problem,” Justice Singhvi said, after the court held a special hearing of the matter later on. The apex court has clarified that the stay order does not mean a change in its earlier verdict, which has upheld the BMC’s order to demolish the illegal flats. It said the time has been extended to rehabilitate the residents.
However, in a statement that brings hope to residents, the bench said it would consider the proposal to construct new buildings where people who are to vacate the illegal flats could be accommodated.
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Police officials and the Campa Cola residents clash on Thursday morning.