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HindustanTimes Tue,21 Oct 2014

Adarsh moves high court against demolition order

Hindustan Times  Mumbai, February 16, 2011
First Published: 02:26 IST(16/2/2011) | Last Updated: 02:27 IST(16/2/2011)

Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society at Cuffe Parade has moved the Bombay high court challenging the order issued by the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) to demolish the building because it violated environmental norms.

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The petition is likely to come up for hearing before a division bench of justice DK Deshmukh and justice KK Tated on February 17.

The MoEF had, on January 16, directed that the 31-storeyed structure should be demolished within three months declaring it illegal for being constructed without obtaining mandatory environmental clearance under Coastal Regulatory Zone rules.

The society has filed a fresh petition on Monday challenging the MoEF’s order on the grounds that it was issued under “misconception of law”.

“The society has complied with all the regulations and has taken necessary permissions,” the petition states.

The high-rise, originally meant to house families of serving and retired defence personnel, came under the scanner following reports that flats were doled out to politicians, top defence personnel and bureaucrats in return for clearances extended by them.

The society had said that the state government had misinterpreted an MoEF letter in 2003 that said approval under CRZ was required.

The state had termed the letter as a “no-objection letter” for building the tower.

The Central Bureau of Investigation has registered an offence against 13 people, including some retired senior defence officers, bureaucrats and politicians such as former chief minister Ashok Chavan and former Member of Legislative Council Kanhaiyalal Gidwani.

The central agency had taken up the investigations after the defence ministry acted on reports of rampant illegalities involved in the transfer of land to the housing society and the allotment of flats in the high-rise.

The two-member inquiry commission, led by retired judge JA Patil, set up to probe the Adarsh housing society scam will begin its hearings in the first week of March in a special court room set up at Old Customs House, Colaba.


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