In another twist to the contentious issue of ownership of the land in Colaba on which Adarsh stands, a recent affidavit by the ministry of defence admits that it does not have any record of the plot or its title.
The affidavit, filed on January 24 in the Bombay high court by KB Nayyar, under secretary to the Government of India, states: ‘Although the Adarsh plot does not reflect in the Military Land Register, the ministry of defence is considering adopting appropriate proceedings to assert its title over the land once the CBI inquiry is complete’.
The military land register is a running record of all land owned, in possession of, leased out or requisitioned by the defence establishment.
The defence ministry is one of the biggest landowners in the central government and all land under it is managed through the defence estate offices.
The affidavit also admits that the state government, back in 1964, through a letter by its collector, had informed the defence estates officer of Bombay and Gujarat Circle that “it would not transfer land from Block VI Backbay Reclamation to the Defence”. This refers to a deal made back in 1958 where the defence transferred land to the state for construction of the Western Expressway.
CBI grills promoters
The CBI, on Thursday, questioned three promoters of Adarsh society mainly on their links with former chief minister Ashok Chavan which helped get some important clearances. CBI sources said Chavan would be called for questioning soon.