In a setback for the Adarsh housing society, the Maharashtra government has told the two-member judicial commission probing the scam that it did not have the necessary environmental clearance even as the panel wrapped up the proceedings.
The judicial commission of inquiry, which concluded the hearing on Tuesday, is expected to submit its final report to Maharashtra government next month, sources in the panel told PTI on Wednesday.
In his final arguments Tuesday, government counsel AY Sakhare told the commission that the building was constructed without Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance or go-ahead from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF).
The government also said the society should not have constructed 31 floors as the Development Control Regulations (DCR), 1967, applicable to it, did not permit that.
According to the state, the building situated in south Mumbai's upscale Colaba, could have been built only up to 46.5 meters and not the present 100.7 meters.
It is for the first time that the state government, which had hitherto maintained that its bureaucrats had not flouted any rules in granting clearances for the building, has admitted the society did not have environmental clearance.
The state government has supported the MoEF's claim that the 2003 letter by the Urban Development Department to the society was misrepresented as environmental clearance by one of the accused in the case PV Deshmukh, a former deputy secretary in the department.
The Commission, headed by retired Bombay High Court judge JA Patil, set up on January 8, 2011, has started dictating its findings in chamber and will submit its report to the state government by the end of next month.
The Commission had in its interim report last year held that the land where the controversial building stands belongs to the state government and not the Ministry of Defence and that it was not reserved for Kargil war widows, war heroes and their relatives.
The Commission's final report will now throw light on whether requisite permissions had been obtained by the society and if any rules flouted by bureaucrats while granting various clearances.