Author: Nishica Srivastava, a BALLB(H) student at Amity University, Kolkata


On Sunday, August 28, 2022, the Supertech Twin Towers, also known as Noida Twin Tower, were demolished using over 3,700 kg of explosives. This event marked the conclusion of a nine-year legal battle initiated by the Residents Welfare Association (RWA) against Supertech Builders. Despite being among the tallest buildings in the country, the illegal towers were efficiently brought down in just nine seconds. A Mumbai-based company employed Modern Civil Engineering Technology and the implosion technique for the demolition.

In the mid-2000s, Supertech Limited, a Noida-based builder, initiated a residential project named Emerald Court situated off the expressway connecting Noida and Greater Noida. Comprising 3, 4, and 5 BHK flats, the market value ranged from Rs 1 crore to Rs 3 crore, as indicated on real estate websites. Initially proposed in June 2005, the Emerald Court project was designed to include 14 nine-storied towers, as per the builder’s submitted plans approved by the New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (Noida).

However, by 2012, significant modifications were made to the plans. Emerald Court transformed into a complex featuring 15 buildings, each with 11 storeys, and two towers soaring to 40 floors above ground. These two towers, originally intended to have 40 floors, would later gain notoriety on a national scale.

In 2004, the Supertech Group received an allocation of approximately 49,000 square meters at Plot No 4, Sector 93A, Noida, from the Noida authorities. This allocation was designated for the development of the Emerald Court Group Housing Society. 

Initially proposed in June 2005, the Emerald Court project was designed to include 14 nine-storied towers, as per the builder’s submitted plans approved by the New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (Noida).

Furthermore, in 2006, additional space was granted by the Noida Authorities for the establishment of a shopping center and building blocks. According to the endorsed layout, the shopping center was slated for construction on the ground plus one floor, while the building block was approved for construction on the ground plus eleven floors.

However, by 2012, significant modifications were made to the plans. Emerald Court transformed into a complex featuring 15 buildings, each with 11 storeys, and two towers soaring to 40 floors above ground. These two towers, originally intended to have 40 floors, would later gain notoriety on a national scale.

Key Parties in the Noida Twin Tower Demolition Case

1. Supertech Limited (Supertech):

Established in 1988, Supertech Group, headquartered in Gurgaon with a registered office in Delhi, stands as a prominent real estate developer in India. Renowned for delivering noteworthy projects such as Emerald Court in Sector 93, Noida, and a high-end residential project in Sector-34, Noida, featuring seven-star living facilities and a 700,000 sq. Ft. Commercial hub.

2. New Okhla Industrial Development Authority, Noida (The Authority):

Founded under the Uttar Pradesh Industrial Area Development Act, 1976, the New Okhla Industrial Development Authority operates under section-3. Established to oversee the development of specific activities within the designated area.

3. Emerald Court Owner Resident Welfare Association (RWA):

In 2004, Noida authorities allocated land to Supertech for constructing a housing society in Noida Sector 93, named “Emerald Court Group Housing Society.” The residents formed the Resident Welfare Association (RWA) upon obtaining occupancy in 2009, officially registering with the Registrar of Societies in 2010. The RWA formulated society laws based on the Apartment Act 2010, Uttar Pradesh. After its formation, Supertech officially recognized the RWA.


In June 2006, Supertech modified the Building Plan after acquiring additional land under the same terms. By 2012, the contractor proposed significant alterations to the initial building design, increasing the number of buildings from 14 to 15 and elevating the height to 14 storeys instead of the initially permitted 9.

Furthermore, two additional 40-floor buildings were erected by the builder, a move contested by the Resident Welfare Association (RWA), ultimately becoming the central focus of a court dispute. Originally, Supertech’s development proposal included creating a green space next to Tower 1. According to legal records, up until December 2006, Supertech’s original building plans for Emerald Court, submitted in June 2005, outlined a housing complex that included a triangular green space in front of Tower 1. This green area was also explicitly referenced in two additional documents dated April 2008 and September 2009, both related to the completion of certain towers within Emerald Court.

However, in November 2009, Supertech made a second revision to its building plans, introducing two new 24-storey towers—Ceyane and Apex—that were now integrated into the project. Significantly, these towers were planned to be constructed on the same triangular green space mentioned in the earlier documents.

Subsequently, residents took legal action against the builder in 2012, urging the destruction of Ceyane and Apex—the twin towers—citing their unlawful construction. Residents also sought the withdrawal of permission for the same from the Noida Authority.


In December 2012, the Residents Welfare Association (RWA) initiated legal proceedings against the Noida authorities and the Supertech Group in the Allahabad High Court, alleging multiple regulatory violations, including:

1. The heightened twin towers obstructed the air and light flow in Tower-2.

2. The increased height of the twin towers compromised the safety of adjacent towers, violating the stipulated minimum horizontal distance of 16 meters.

3. The overall housing society experienced suffocation due to the heightened Twin Towers.

In response, Supertech, in its defense before the Allahabad High Court, argued that the Emerald Court Housing project was executed in two distinct stages. The first stage involved the construction of 15 towers, while the twin towers (Tower-16 & Tower-17) were erected in the second stage. Supertech contended that the layout and plan of the twin towers received approval from the Noida Authorities on November 26, 2009, predating the enforcement of the new Building Regulation and U.P. Apartment Act in 2010. Therefore, Supertech asserted that these new regulations were not applicable to the construction of the Twin Towers.

Furthermore, Supertech highlighted that the last sanction, granted by the Noida Authorities in March 2012, pertained to an increase in height to 40 storeys. The company had also acquired the remaining floor area from Noida’s Authority. Supertech emphasized the distinction between the first and second stages, asserting that the RWA of first-stage occupants had no involvement in the second-stage activities.

In response to the allegations put forth by both the Residents Welfare Association (RWA) and Supertech, the Noida Authorities presented their defense in the Allahabad High Court, asserting the following arguments:

The Noida authorities sought to justify their actions, contending that all measures taken were in accordance with the prevailing legal framework. They emphasized compliance with building laws, with the exception of the horizontal distance requirement of 16 meters between two structures. It was clarified that this particular necessity became mandatory in 2010, subsequent to the approval granted for the construction of the twin towers in 2009. The subsequent permission in March 2012 pertained solely to an increase in the structure’s height, having no impact on the mandated horizontal distance between the structures.

A pivotal aspect deliberated by the Allahabad High Court was whether the authorization provided by the Noida authorities in March 2012 adhered to the U.P. Act 2010 and Building Regulation Act 2010. According to these regulations, the mandated horizontal distance between two structures is stipulated as 16 meters or more, while in practice, it was acknowledged to be only 9 meters.

In the judgment delivered by the Allahabad High Court, the Noida authorities argued that the U.P. Act 2010 and Building Regulation Act 2010 were not applicable, asserting that approval for the Twin Towers’ development was granted in 2009. Furthermore, they contended that the consent in 2012 was exclusively for the purpose of increasing the building’s height.

Upon thorough examination of the arguments presented by the Residents Welfare Association (RWA), Noida Authorities, and Supertech, the High Court observed a significant disparity between the positions of Supertech and the Noida Authorities. This discrepancy stemmed from the acquisition of additional floor area in 2011, leading to the approval of a new layout map by the Noida Authorities in 2012 for the construction of the Twin Towers. Consequently, the High Court maintained that the Building Regulation Act 2010 should be applicable to the new layout.

The High Court, through its order, mandated the demolition of Twin Towers and directed specific actions against Noida Authorities and Supertech. The key directives are outlined as follows:

  1. The Noida Authorities are obligated to demolish Twin Towers (Tower-16 and Tower-17) within four months from the issuance of the High Court’s order.
  2. The financial burden for the demolition and removal of debris rests with Supertech. The Noida Authorities must ensure compliance; otherwise, they will be responsible for the associated expenses.
  3. Pursuant to the U.P. Apartments Act 2010, a competent authority, as determined in accordance with the said Act, is mandated to initiate action against Supertech and Noida Authority officials involved in the project. This action must be undertaken within three months from the date of the High Court’s order.
  4. Supertech is instructed to reimburse all funds with a 14% annual compounded interest rate to individuals who had booked apartments in Twin Towers. This refund must be executed within four months from the date of the High Court’s order publication.

Following the judgment of the Allahabad High Court in 2014, Supertech appealed to the Supreme Court. After thorough consideration of all stakeholders in the Twin Tower case, the Supreme Court issued the following findings:

  1. The allocated land by Noida authorities to Supertech constitutes a singular plot.
  2. Approval granted by Noida authorities for the construction of Tower 16 and Tower 17 fails to meet the mandated minimum horizontal distance.
  3. Supertech’s assertion that Tower-1 and Tower-17 face dead ends, thus exempting them from minimum distance criteria, was deemed false, as the towers face each other and are not situated on dead-end sides.
  4. Towers 16 and 17 were constructed without adherence to fire safety norms.
  5. Supertech, in violation of the UP-Apartments Act 2010, deviated from the approved 2006 plan by constructing Tower-16 and Tower-17 on the designated garden space initially promised to Tower-1 residents.
  6. Lack of separate construction for Tower-16 and Tower-17 under Phase-II was noted, as both towers were part of Phase-1. Permission should have been sought from all Phase-1 residents, which Supertech neglected, thereby contravening the UP Apartment Act 2010.

The Supreme Court issued the following judgment:

  1. Affirmation of the High Court’s decision on the demolition of Tower-16 and Tower-17.
  2. Demolition of Tower-16 and Tower-17 mandated within 3 months from the date of the Supreme Court’s order publication.
  3. Supertech is liable for the demolition cost. Noida authorities are responsible for ensuring the safety of nearby structures and individuals during demolition, consulting their own experts and those from the Central Building Research Institute (CBRI) Roorkee.
  4. Demolition supervision assigned to CBRI, with an alternative expert nominated by Noida authorities if CBRI is unable to manage the task.
  5. Supertech is obligated to cover both the demolition cost and expert fees.
  6. Refund of all funds to Tower-16 and Tower-17 flat owners mandated by Supertech, with a 12% p.a. interest from the deposit date until the refund is completed.
  7. Supertech is required to pay Rs 2 crore to Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) within one month from the date of the Supreme Court’s order publication.


The Noida Twin Towers underwent a deliberate collapse through a method known as the ‘Controlled Collapse Mechanism.’ This process involved strategically placing explosives to ensure the towers collapsed with minimal environmental impact. The controlled collapse method entails systematically weakening the structural supports, primarily columns, that bear the gravitational load. Explosives were strategically positioned, with a greater concentration on lower floors, to initiate the controlled breakdown.

The concept of Controlled Collapse Mechanism dates back to 1773 when it was first employed in Ireland to demolish the Trinity Cathedral. Over time, this method gained popularity for demolishing various structures, including bridges, buildings, tunnels, and plants. Notably, in 2020, this technique was applied in Kochi, India, for demolishing four coastal apartments that violated coastal regulations. The Mumbai-based firm Edifice Engineering collaborated with South Africa’s Jet for the Twin Tower demolition. Safely containing the explosives within the structure is a crucial aspect of controlled implosion, making it a meticulous and time-consuming process. In the case of the Twin Towers, 3,700 kg of explosives were utilized for the demolition.

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