M/S.Goan Real Estates
& Constr.Ltd.& ANR Vs. People's Movement for Civic Action & Ors
 INSC 1448 (28 August 2008)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5281 OF 2008 (Arising
out of S.L.P. (C) NO. 16728 OF 2008) Goan Real Estate & Construction Ltd.
and another ...
People's Movement for Civic Action And others ...
Court has heard the learned counsel for the parties regarding relief claimed by
appeal is directed against order dated July 10, 2008, rendered by the High
Court of Bombay at Goa in Miscellaneous Civil Application No. 866 of 2007,
which was filed in Writ Petition No. 403 of 2007 by 2 which the parties have
been directed to maintain status quo in respect of construction within 50 to
100 meters of High Tide Line on survey Nos. 12/1 and 99/2 situated near river
Zuari at Goa till the matter is finally heard by the Court.
record would indicate that after purchase of the lands in question the
appellants applied to the Panchayat for sanction of plans for construction of
hotel. The permission was granted by the village Panchayat on November 26,
1993. The Ministry of Environment and Forests had issued a notification called
Coastal Regulation Zone for regulating the development of areas within 500
meters of the coast.
The said notification
was amended on August 16, 1994 reducing the "No Development Zone" to
50 meters from 100 meters. The appellant No. 1 had submitted amended plans
seeking permission to put up construction leaving 50 meters "No
Development Zone". The Village Panchayat had granted the 3 permission
sought for. In Indian Council for Enviro- Legal Action vs. Union of India
(1996) 5 SCC 281, this Court held that the amendment reducing the No
Development Zone from 100 meters to 50 meters was illegal. The case of the
appellants is that in view of financial constraints and depressed market
conditions, the construction was not actively progressed but building plans
were revalidated by the Panchayat from time to time and the respondent No. 4
has granted extension for a period of three years from September 17, 2005. It
may be mentioned that the Ministry of Environment and Forests had clarified on
January 24, 2007 that the construction activities in the zone between 50 to 100
meters would attract the provisions of CRZ Notification from the date of judgment
of the Supreme Court. Though the appellants had commenced construction prior to
the date of pronouncement of judgment by the Supreme Court, the Additional
Collector had not vacated the stop work order passed on December 22, 2006. The
4 respondent No. 1 has filed Public Interest Litigation for quashing the
revalidating and grant of extension for a period of 3 years to enable the
appellants to put up the construction of the plans granted to the appellants.
Similarly, the appellants have filed petition challenging the validity of order
by which they were directed to stop construction work. The Bombay High Court at
Goa had recorded the statement of Additional Solicitor General, appearing for
MOEF, Union of India in the petition filed by the appellants to the effect that
the project of the appellant No. 1 was treated by MOEF as an ongoing project.
In view of the said statement, the learned Advocate General, appearing for the
State, had withdrawn the impugned orders by which the appellants were directed
to stop the construction work.
may be mentioned here that in the Public Interest Litigation MOEF has filed
reply confirming its stand taken in the petition filed by the appellants and,
5 therefore, the High Court rejected the application made in PIL for interim
relief on September 12, 2007.
The High Court
declined to grant interim relief noting that the Central Government had itself
referred the matter to National Coastal Zone Management Authority. The Court,
while declining to grant interim relief, directed the said Authority to
consider the matter after giving personal hearing to all parties. The record
shows that the said Authority gave hearing to all the parties and has treated
the project of the appellants as an ongoing project. By the impugned order the
High Court has directed the parties to maintain status quo regarding
construction because according to the High Court it was admitted by one of the
directors of the appellants that from 1997 to 2005 there was no construction
activity and the Apex Court has struck down amendment restricting the NDZ to 50
noted earlier, the project of the appellants is treated to be an ongoing
project. The decision dated October 30, 2007 rendered by the National Coastal
Zone Management Authority is in favour of the appellants, which is now
challenged by the respondents in PIL by amending the petition. Without
considering the validity of the same the impugned interim direction should not
have been granted, more particularly, when interim relief was earlier refused
to the respondent. Grant of stay of construction activity would result into
considerable loss to the appellants who have invested huge amount in the
project. On the facts and in the circumstances of the case this Court is of the
opinion that interest of justice would be served if the appellants are
permitted to complete incomplete construction at their own risk and cost.
the foregoing reasons the appeal partly succeeds.
The impugned order is
set aside. During the pendency of the petition before the High Court, the 7
appellants are permitted to complete the incomplete construction work done by
them at their own risk and cost. The High Court is requested to dispose of the
matter on merits without being inhibited by this order granting interim relief
to the appellants as early as possible and without any avoidable delay.