Kochi court issues stay on a film based on demolition of Maradu flats

According to the Maradu flat builders, releasing the film during the hearing of the criminal cases could “prejudicially” affect the trial
Maradu flat demolition
Maradu flat demolitionNC Jayachandran, for All India Radio

A local court in Kochi has issued a stay on the release and streaming of a Malayalam film based on the demolition of the four Maradu flats for violating CRZ regulations.

The Munsiff Court in Ernakulam has passed an interim order against the release and online streaming of ‘Maradu 357’. In the order, the court has said that “the film shall not be released in full or parts or trailers or songs in movie theatres or OTT platform/social media until the trial in criminal cases filed against the flat builders is completed. It is the builders of the demolished flats who filed the suit against the releasing of the movie.

According to the builders, releasing the film during the hearing of the criminal cases could “prejudicially” affect the trial. Reportedly, the builders said in their suit that according to the film’s trailer, it suggests that there was collusion between government officials and the builders in illegally obtaining a permit for the buildings. The builders cited the staying the release of the movie “Black Friday” and a serial on the Koodathayi murder case until the trial was completed.

Kannan Thamarakkulam directed ‘Maradu 357’ and is slated for release on March 19. The movie stars Anoop Menon, Manoj K Jayan, Dharmajan Bolghatty, Sheelu Abraham, Sarayu, Noorin Shereef among others. The ‘357’ in the film’s title signifies the number of flats demolished at Maradu.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court recently has issued a warning to the Maradu flat builders saying that they have to pay half of the amount required to pay the compensation. The Court also pointed out that it would order action, including revenue recovery if the amount was not paid. The flat builders are given a week to state their position. The case is adjourned for next Wednesday.

A total of Rs 115 crore is required for paying compensation to the Maradu residents. Following the Court order, the state government had provided Rs 65 crore as emergency assistance. In addition to this, the flat builders should also pay for the expense of the flat demolition.

Last January, the Maradu flats, which were built in violation of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules, were demolished on the orders of the Supreme Court of India.

In May 2019, the Supreme Court had ordered the demolition of five apartments in Maradu municipality of Ernakulam district within one month for violating the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules. However, only four apartments namely Jains Coral Cove, H2O Holy Faith, Alfa Serene and Golden Kayaloram, were constructed. Following the legal battle, the Supreme Court in an order in September 2019, directed the state government to demolish the flats. Eviction notices were issued to the flat residents. However, on January 11 2020, two flats were demolished and the remaining two were brought down on January 12 2020, through implosion.

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