No relief for Adarsh Society from HC

The Bombay High Court on Thursday refused restoration of power and water supply to the scam-hit Adarsh Society.

Last Updated: Dec 23, 2010, 20:26 PM IST

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Thursday refused restoration of power and water supply to the scam-hit Adarsh Society here, while the Ministry of Defence told the court that the 31-storey building in South Mumbai was a serious "security hazard" in wake of 26/11 terror attacks.

The housing society had moved the court after civic authorities cut-off water and power supply, following revocation of Occupation Certificate.

A division bench of Justices BH Marlapalle and UD Salvi today held the Society failed to show that occupants had to vacate the flats because of lack of power and water.

The Ministry of Environment and Forests, which has issued a show-cause notice to Adarsh for constructing the building in Coastal Regulation Zone (Category II) without its clearance, will give its hearing on December 29.

The High Court said that the MOEF should take decision in three weeks and the case will come up for hearing before division bench on January 25.

Earlier, Additional Solicitor General Darius Khambata stated that the building`s location in Colaba was such that it offered unrestricted view of defence installations and the surrounding sea, so it was a serious "security hazard".

The Court too, in today`s order, noted that though initially society was meant for "Kargil heroes", only two of current members had participated in Kargil operations.

It observed that the land was initially in possession of military authorities, and "it was doubtful whether state government could have allotted it to Adarsh."

Noting that though proposed as a society of defence personnel, many of the current members were politicians, MPs, MLAs, IAS officers or their relations, the High Court stated that in some cases, "conditions of membership are not fulfilled on income criterion...some of them were students when flats were allotted."

The Court directed all the respondents, including MoD,
MOEF, and state government to file affidavits-in-reply to
all these issues.

Adarsh Society had filed a case that power and water
supply were cut off with only a 24-hour notice to file reply,
without any hearing.

They also contended that if the society was a security
threat, defence authorities should have acted earlier, and
there was an elaborate procedure in the law for this purpose,
which was not followed.

But advocate Khambata argued that the defence authorities
started writing letters to civic authorities, urging them not
to give occupation certificate when the building started
coming up.

Before the MMRDA gave an OC to Adarsh on September 16
this year, both the Army and Navy had written to the state, he
said.

Responding to the court`s query, State Advocate General
Ravi Kadam conceded that all these letters which came in
June/July 2010, were forwarded by state to MMRDA, the special
planning authority for the area.

PTI

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