Mumbai: The Adarsh Housing Society on Thursday
told the Bombay High Court that it had taken all necessary
permissions from Maharashtra government prior to construction
of the controversial high-rise and cannot be blamed for
"miscommunication" between the state and the Centre.
The division bench of Justices Ranjana Desai and RG
Ketkar was hearing the petition filed by the society,
challenging the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests`
order to demolish the building, for alleged violation of
coastal regulation zone (CRZ) norms.
"The state government had the authorisation power to
sanction construction. Merely because there is no written NOC
by the Union government, the demolition order was passed.
Since 2002, the state government has been giving all sanctions
and permissions to the society," Rohatgi said.
"In 2003, the Union government sent a letter to the
Maharashtra government saying that state had the power to
decide. This letter was construed as no objection certificate
from the Union. For a miscommunication between the state and
centre, private people cannot be blamed," he said.
Rohatgi alleged the demolition order was "pre-determined"
and was passed at the behest of "someone" who had a personal
vendetta with the society and its members.
"The order of demolition was passed by the ministry`s
director Bharat Bhushan on the basis of the report submitted
by a panel headed by Environment Impact Assessment division
adviser Nalini Bhat. The society was not even given the chance
to clear its stand," he said.
The bench would hear the Union government`s arguments on