ADVERTISEMENT
Go back to
Home » My Kolkata » News » Cut power, water supply to ‘illegal’ floors of a Howrah building: Calcutta High Court

illegal building

Cut power, water supply to ‘illegal’ floors of a Howrah building: Calcutta High Court

'The Howrah Municipal Corporation is further directed not to accept any type of application from the petitioner seeking sanction of any building plan and the petitioner shall be restrained from any construction within the jurisdiction of the Howrah Municipal Corporation'

Debraj Mitra, Tapas Ghosh | Published 04.04.24, 06:05 AM
Calcutta High Court

Calcutta High Court

File image

The water and electricity supply to the flats on the allegedly unauthorised floors of a Howrah building should be disconnected forthwith, a single-judge bench of Calcutta High Court said on Wednesday.

“The plan was obtained for raising construction of a ground and partly first floor at the subject premises. The petitioner went on to raise a G+4 storey building. As admittedly the constructions made in the second, third and fourth floors are illegal and unauthorised, accordingly, the Howrah Municipal Corporation is directed to immediately disconnect the water supply of the aforesaid flats.... The electricity provider is directed to forthwith disconnect the electric supply to the second, third and fourth floors of the subject structure,” Justice Amrita Sinha said in open court.

ADVERTISEMENT

“The Howrah Municipal Corporation is further directed not to accept any type of application from the petitioner seeking sanction of any building plan and the petitioner shall be restrained from any construction within the jurisdiction of the Howrah Municipal Corporation.”

The formal order had not been uploaded on the court’s website till 7.30pm on Wednesday.

At the previous hearing on March 20, Justice Sinha slapped a Rs 1-crore fine on the builder whose five-storey building — in Kali Prasad Chakraborty Lane in Howrah’s Kadamtala — it had earlier ordered evacuated and demolished. On Wednesday, Justice Sinha iterated that the building will have to be vacated within the stipulated time.

The counsel for the builder on Wednesday pleaded his inability to pay Rs 1 crore. His submission was that the builder had “not received more than Rs 45 lakh in total from the flat owners on account of sale of the subject flats”.

He also sought permission to submit “stability certificates and soil-test reports” to support his claim that the building was safe.

Justice Sinha threatened to put the builder in jail for not complying with the court’s order. Eventually, the builder’s counsel said his client owned a portion (one-fourth) of a property in Abhaypada Banerjee Lane in Howrah. “He is ready to deposit his title deed with the registrar,” the lawyer said.

“The petitioner is directed to produce the original title deed in the aforesaid property and submit the same before the registrar general. The petitioner is restrained from transferring/selling/alienating or creating any third party right with respect to the aforesaid property,” Justice Sinha said in open court.

On March 21, this newspaper had visited the five-storey building in Kali Prasad Chakraborty Lane and spoken to the owners of multiple apartments. They had pleaded helplessness, saying they had spent their lives’ savings and borrowed money to buy an accommodation.

But they knew when they were buying the flats that the builder had the sanction for only the first two floors, if at all. The builder had promised to get the sanction of the remaining floors after the civic polls in Howrah, said more than one owner.

The civic polls in Howrah were last held in December 2012.

Two flat owners had showed a couple of receipts — for payment of the mutation fee and the property tax — issued by the Howrah Municipal Corporation (HMC). They questioned the civic body’s acceptance of the money. Sujoy Chakravarty, chairperson of the board of administrators of the HMC, had then told this newspaper that mutation did not legitimise an unauthorised structure.

The counsel for of a section of the flat owners on Wednesday made a similar submission. “My flat is mutated. I am paying property tax,” he said. But the submission failed to cut ice with the judge, who said these could not be the grounds for regularisation of an illegal structure.

On Wednesday, the builder’s counsel said the building could not have come up without “the tacit permission of the authorities”.

This prompted Justice Sinha to ask him to provide the “names of the engineers who helped you”.

HMC counsel Sandipan Banerjee interjected, saying engineers “cannot not be involved since they are not party to this case”.

The case will be next heard on April 15.

Last updated on 04.04.24, 06:06 AM
Share:
ADVERTISEMENT

More from My Kolkata