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SC stays demolition of top 5 floors of Chennai’s Billroth Hospitals block

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The Supreme Court on Friday stayed a Madras High Court order directing the demolition of top five floors of an eight-storey block of Chennai’s Billroth Hospitals for violation of approved building plan.

A bench of Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose, however, asked the hospital authorities to vacate the floors in 10 days and not to use the space for any activity.

It posted the matter to March 16.

The high court had directed the Tamil Nadu government, Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) and Greater Chennai Corporation to raze the top five floors on June 16 under the supervision of amicus curiae T Mohan.

It had also confirmed an order to cut the power supply to the floors beyond the third floor.

Though the hospital had urged the court to defer the demolition until the consideration of an application to regularise buildings constructed before July 2007, the high court had said, “It is only a desperate bid to somehow protract the eventual demolition of the unauthorised construction so as to enjoy the illegal gains, indefinitely, at the risk of public safety.”

It had observed, “A right in law exists only and only when it has a lawful origin and as such, the fortuitous circumstance that the ninth respondent (Billroth Hospitals) had been using the unauthorised constructions in the building unnoticed for more than a decade and without any interference, cannot be of any avail…”

The court had said, “In view of imminent danger to public safety, it would be illegal and against public interest to permit ninth respondent to continue to use the unauthorised construction.”

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