Maradu flat owners not entitled for interest: SC

The Supreme Court has determined that owners whose flats in Maradu high-rises, which were demolished for violating coastal zone regulations, are not entitled for interest on amounts paid by them to the builders.

A Bench led by Justice L. Nageswara Rao, in a brief judgment on Friday, recounted the flow of events, starting from the purchase of flats to its demolition. The apartments were bought between 2009-2013 by the owners. They lived in them till 2019, until they were asked to vacate due to the demolition order.

The State government had paid each of the flat owners a compensation of ₹25 lakh. The court noted that the builders, represented by the likes of senior advocate Kapil Sibal and advocate Karthik Ashok, had also paid back the amount they owed to the flat owners.

“It is no doubt true that the flat owners were paid only the amount that was invested by them at the time of purchase of flats,” the court noted.

Refusing the plea made by flat owners that the builders should pay them an interest on top of the principal amounts paid for the apartments, the court reasoned that the owners had also used and lived in these apartments for nearly a decade.

They had enjoyed being joint owners of the property all through those years when the value of the land had increased substantially. Besides, now, there has been depreciation of the value of the flats.

On behalf of the flat owners, it had been submitted that they had invested their life earnings in the demolished flats

They said with the demolition of their flats, they had lost their place of residence and in view of the price escalation, they were not in a position to purchase a similar accommodation for the amounts they had invested in these building complexes

In addition, they have to shell out the money to live on rent.

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