Maradu apartment director surrenders before Kerala court, remanded

Maradu flats demolition, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, Maradu, Kochi, Coastal Regulation Zone norms, H2O Holy Faith, Golden Kayaloram, Alfa Serene, Jain’s Coral Cave
The Supreme Court had in May ordered the demolition of the apartments following an appeal filed by the Kerala State Coastal Zone Management Authority.

The director of one of the four apartment complexes built in violation of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms in Maradu here, surrendered before a court in Muvattupuzha on Wednesday (October 23), police said.

The Vigilance court sent Paul Raj to judicial custody till November 5, they said. Raj, who is facing a Crime Branch probe in a cheating case filed by a flat owner, surrendered a day after the Ernakulam Principal Sessions Court dismissed his anticipatory bail plea. He is the director of Alfa Serene Ventures, the builders of the illegal apartment complex facing demolition following the Supreme Court order.

The Crime Branch has registered a case against Raj under various sections of the IPC including Sections 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property.

Crime Branch sources said it would seek custody of Raj and an application in this regard would be filed in the Muvattupuzha Vigilance Court next week. Already three people have been arrested in connection with the illegal construction of apartment complexes in Maradu.

Sani Francis, Director of Holy Faith Builders and Developers Ltd, and Muhammed Ashraf and P E Joseph, Secretary and Joint Superintendent respectively of the then Maradu panchayat when the building permit was issued, were arrested by the Crime Branch last week.

The Kerala government had handed over the case to the crime branch from local police, which had earlier registered an FIR against three builders. The Supreme Court had on September 27 directed demolition of the flats, built on the coastal zone of Kochi’s Maradu panchayat, within 138 days in accordance with the time schedule provided by the state government.