iconimg Saturday, September 05, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, December 08, 2012
Representatives of the Adarsh society, on Friday, urged the Bombay high court to transfer their petition challenging an order issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), under which the structure was ordered to be demolished, to the National Green Tribunal.

On January 15, 2011, the ministry had declared the 31-storey structure as unauthorised, stating that the construction work was carried out without obtaining the mandatory environmental clearances under the CRZ Regulations.

The environment ministry had also directed the society to pull down the building within two months of the order and restore the land to its original position. The Adarsh society had then challenged the order in the high court.

Defending the society’s move, advocate Janak Dwarkadas stated that while the National Green Tribunal Act was brought into force at the time the petition was filed, no tribunal was functioning then. Consequently, the society had to approach the high court.

As a bench of the green tribunal is available now, the petition should be transferred to them, the advocate argued.

Rejecting the request, additional solicitor general Kevic Setalwad, representing the ministry of defence (MoD), stated that the housing society could file a fresh plea before the green tribunal. Setalwad added that the ministry is in the final stages of filing a syuit on the issue.

The defence ministry would challenge the findings of the state-appointed two-member commission that held that the land at Cuffe Parade belongs to the state government.

The matter will now be placed before another division bench as one of the judges on the division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice Anoop Mohta recused from hearing the matter.