HC asks for status quo at Adarsh building



Mumbai: Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed for status quo to be maintained at the scam-hit Adarsh Society building in south Mumbai pending hearing on the latest petition filed by Defence Ministry.

A division bench of Justices PB Majmudar and R D Dhanuka was hearing a petition filed by the Union Ministry of Defence seeking implementation of an order passed by the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) directing demolition of the 31-storey Adarsh building.

According to the Defence ministry, the plush society is built inside Colaba military station in south Mumbai and was a security threat as it looks over vital installations of the defence ministry.

"No one has the right to ignore the security of the nation. Defence of the country is first, rest all is secondary," Justice Majmudar observed.

The court while posting the petition for hearing on April 30 directed for status quo to be maintained.

"Concerned authorities are restrained from issuing NOC, Occupation Certificate (OC), Commencement Certificate (CC) or any other development facility to the society pending hearing of this petition," the court said.

The bench also observed that the state government before granting permission to Adarsh should have insisted on an NOC from the Defence ministry.

Government pleader DN Nalavade informed the court that after the Adarsh scam came to light a circular has been issued on November 4, 2010 making it mandatory to seek NOC from defence ministry in cases where construction is near a defence establishment.

The court was also informed that the MMRDA had already revoked the OC granted to the society and electricity and water supply were disconnected and no member has occupied the building.

PTI