Planning to buy a home in or around Delhi? You may want to check whether your builder has necessary environmental clearances.
The Supreme Court indicated on Friday it may insist on prior environmental clearance instead of post facto permission for all realty projects and warned builders against flouting green norms and “seducing gullible buyers”.
“You cannot merrily construct without getting the clearances. Any stay will only perpetuate this illegality. At the threshold this is a double-edged weapon. You are misleading people, seducing them to buy such flats on one hand and on the other destroying the environment,” a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India TS Thakur said.
The court indicated it may restore an earlier National Green Tribunal (NGT) order which disallowed real estate builders from getting such post-facto approvals.
The NGT had in July last year quashed a ministry of environment and forests circular that allowed post facto clearances. It said the circular couldn’t override an earlier notification which made green clearances mandatory before construction began.
However, the NGT order was subsequently stayed last year by a bench headed by then CJI HL Dattu. On Friday, the SC said it would reconsider the stay order and posted the matter for hearing on January 22.
“You people (builders) are constructing huge projects without any clearances and then selling it to people who later crowd around the court demanding that they be given possession. You must have some respect for the law,” justice Thakur told the counsel of a group of builders.