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SC stays Madras HC order to demolish 5 floors of a Chennai hospital

twitter-logoPTI | June 3, 2019 | Updated 17:43 IST

New Delhi, Jun 3 (PTI) The Supreme Court Monday stayed the Madras High Court judgement ordering demolition of top five floors of an eight-storey block of a private hospital in Chennai for construction allegedly in violation of the approved building plan. A vacation bench comprising Justices Indu Malhotra and M R Shah, however, directed Billroth Hospitals Ltd not to use these top five floors for any activity. The bench, which issued the notice and sought response from the Tamil Nadu government on the plea filed by the hospital challenging the high court verdict, granted 10 days to the hospital to vacate the five floors. The high court had ordered the demolition to commence from June 16. Senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for the hospital, told the apex court that it had applied under the 2017 building regularisation scheme of Tamil Nadu. He said the matter related to the 2017 scheme is pending but while hearing a separate contempt case, the high court had quashed the scheme. At the outset, the bench observed, "It is completely without any authorised plan. Three floors were allowed but beyond that, construction was not permitted". Singhvi told the bench that the hospital, having 250 beds, was operational since 2005-2006 and the authorities can decide on the application for regularisation within a month. "We are issuing notice only because in a contempt case, the high court has set aside a scheme," the bench said. When Singhvi sought a stay of the high court's verdict, the bench said, "For the time being we will grant stay but you will not use these floors (fourth to eighth). You had build it till eighth floor in 2009 with impunity. You used it without any sanctioned building plan". "You (hospital) have done it for 10 years. You can not be allowed to go on using it. You have to stop using it," the bench observed while granting a stay on the high court verdict. The bench said the matter would come up for hearing after the summer vacation. On May 30, the apex court had agreed to hear the plea filed by the hospital challenging the high court order. PTI ABA SJK SA

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