The Supreme Court on Tuesday told residents of the Campa Cola society in Mumbai to vacate illegally constructed flats by May 31 next year.
It directed them to produce a written undertaking within six weeks saying they would follow the court’s orders.
The court also said the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) was free to take action against the residents if they failed to vacate the flats.
A SC had earlier ordered a stay on the demolition of the illegal flats till May 31 after a two-day standoff between the residents and the local administration that was trying to begin the demolition on BMC orders. The residents had formed a human barrier behind the closed gates, daring BMC officials to enter the complex.
“More than a legal issue, it’s a human problem,” an SC judge had said after the court held a special hearing of the matter after the demolition was stayed on November 13.
The apex court had clarified that the stay order did not mean a change in its earlier verdict, which had upheld the BMC’s order to demolish the illegal flats. It said the time had been extended to rehabilitate the residents.
The apex court had ordered the BMC to demolish 96 flats across 35 illegal floors in seven buildings in the compound. The flats were built by builders without the permission from BMC and hence were declared illegal.
More than 140 families have been residing in the complex for the past 25 years.