A day after they arrived at the controversial Adarsh building in plush Colaba, Army officials completed the process of taking over the 31-storey skyscraper from its housing society on Saturday.
The move came after the Supreme Court on July 22 asked the Centre to “secure” the building — which means the structure cannot be torn down — during the pendency of the special leave petition (SLP) filed by Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society, an official said.
On behalf of the Centre, the Indian Army took over the possession of the building to ensure its security and prevent any encroachment.
The process was supervised by a registrar nominated by Bombay high court, which had earlier asked the ministry of environment and forests to demolish the building due to “misuse” of power by politicians and senior bureaucrats. It had also directed the government to initiate criminal proceedings against the accused.
The high court had, however, stayed the demolition for 12 weeks to enable Housing Society to appeal in the apex court.
Directing the society that it will not be permitted to deal in the matter, the apex court had given the reigns to the government.
The Adarsh scandal first came to notice in 2003 when it was reported that a highrise building was coming up in Colaba, close to military installations, riding roughshod over environmental concerns. The society was meant for war heroes and Army widows.
The fiasco also led to resignation of the then chief minister Ashok Chavan in 2010.