Adarsh: Panel raps Maha govt over silence on land ownership

The inquiry commission set up to probe the Adarsh Housing Society scam on Thursday questioned Maharashtra government`s silence on the ownership of the disputed land in south Mumbai.

Last Updated: Apr 28, 2011, 16:04 PM IST

Mumbai: The inquiry commission set up to
probe the Adarsh Housing Society scam on Thursday questioned
Maharashtra government`s silence on the ownership of the
disputed land in south Mumbai.

"Why is the state government not saying anything on
ownership of the land? The Army has submitted documents
claiming the land belongs to them but the state government is
keeping silent. Government should be more concerned and
prompt," retired High Court Justice J A Patil, who is heading
the two-member commission said.
The matter came to the fore after the Ministry of
Defence today submitted two `development plans` showing that
the land where the 31-storey Adarsh Society stands at Colaba
has been under its ownership even prior to 1937 as per the
records.

"The two plans show that the land was with the Army
even prior to 1937 and hence the society`s claims that it had
reclaimed the land from the state government in the 1970s
cannot be correct," advocate Dhiren Shah, appearing for the
Defence Ministry said.

Meanwhile, several departments of the state government
including the MMRDA, Urban Development and Environment
department again sought time to submit all documents
pertaining to the Adarsh Society.

"Summons were issued to every department in January.
If so many extensions are sought to submit documents, then the
commission would not be able to submit its report in the
stipulated time period," senior counsel Dipan Merchant,
appearing for the commission, said.
The commission, which was expected to start recording
evidence of the first witness in the case, Brigadier Deepak
Saxena, has adjourned the hearing till May 2.

The panel is constituted to look into issues such as
whether the land where Adarsh came up was reserved for kin of
Kargil war martyrs, and alleged irregularities and violation
of environmental norms while giving various permissions for
the construction.

PTI