Former municipal commissioner Jairaj Phatak stated that Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society had obtained the required Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) clearance from the state government.
The letter from the Urban Development Department (UDD) to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) dated March 15, 2003, constituted CRZ clearance for Adarsh society, said Phatak.
Deposing before the two-member committee constituted to probe irregularities, Phatak said that till April 22, 2003, the UDD had the power to grant CRZ clearance.
The department had checked if construction could be allowed taking the position of the CRZ into account, he added.
"The letter states satisfaction on all accounts and hence is valid CRZ clearance," said Phatak.
"Adarsh society was not required to obtain fresh CRZ clearance after making an application on March 7, 2005," he said.
"There was no specific format of CRZ clearance issued by the UDD, MCZMA or MOEF," he added.
Phatak had, last week, stated that Adarsh society did not have CRZ clearance from MoEF.
Phatak is alleged to have permitted the society members to increase the height of the tower as his son Kanishka is a member of the society.