Adarsh to stay for now | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Adarsh to stay for now

The ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) on Wednesday assured the Bombay high court that the 31-storey structure of scam-hit Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society at Cuff Parade would not be pulled down immediately.

mumbai Updated: Apr 14, 2011 02:11 IST
HT Correspondent

The ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) on Wednesday assured the Bombay high court that the 31-storey structure of scam-hit Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society at Cuff Parade would not be pulled down immediately.

The assurance came after counsel for the controversial society Mukul Rohatgi pointed out to the high court that the three months' deadline set by the MoEF for demolishing the high-rise building was coming to an end in couple of days. The scam-hit society had challenged January 14, 2011, MoEF order, which had declared the 31-storey structure illegal for want of prior environmental clearance, giving it three months' time.

"The immediate concern is that the MoEF's order of demolition is to take effect in couple of days," the senior advocate said. Rohatgi said the construction of the building had started seven years ago and was completed last year, and the court needs to consider what had been going on between 2003 and 2010.

Maintaining that the housing society had obtained all requisite permission, Rohatgi sought a stay on demolition of its building.

Additional solicitor general (ASG) Darius Khambata, however, countered the claim of obtaining all necessary permission by stating that the housing society had failed to obtain environmental clearance. "They did not bother to obtain environmental clearance even after getting Floor Space Index of an adjoining plot in construction of their building," Khambata said.

When the division bench of justice Ranjana Desai and justice RG Ketkar confronted Khambata, the ASG objected saying the society had realised that the deadline was ending at the last hour.

When the judges asked him what the MoEF proposed in Adarsh case, Khambata said, "We will certainly take steps towards demolition," and insisted that the building should be pulled down immediately.

Khambata agreed not to take any action only after the court insisted that status quo should be maintained until the petition was decided. The final hearing is on April 27.