The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seems to have put Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society in more trouble.
The CBI had, on January 31, frozen the State Bank of India accounts controversial Colaba society, withholding more than Rs1 crore collected from its members for defending legal action against it.
The housing society on Tuesday moved the Bombay high court asking that it be allowed to operate its bank accounts again stating that since November 1, 2010, the society had collected Rs2 lakh from every member for defending itself in legal proceedings initiated by the state and Centre.
The Union environment ministry had, in January, declared Adarsh illegal and ordered its demolition.
The petition adds that the society has incurred legal expenditure to the tune of Rs70 lakh, and owes Rs2.5 crore to the contractor who constructed the 31-storey structure.
The society, in the petition filed through legal firm, Vidhi and Partners, has said that it is losing interest it could have earned and is also being deprived of its fundamental right to defend itself.
The society has contended that freezing its bank accounts was illegal and arbitrary because it had been initiated without following the procedure stipulated under the Code of Criminal Procedure.
It has also said that there was no nexus between the offence registered by the CBI’s anti-corruption wing and the society’s bank accounts. The offences being investigated by the CBI are against the accused named in the first information report and have no connection with the bank accounts of the society, which is an independent entity, the petition states.
The petition was mentioned in court on Tuesday by the society’s counsels before a division bench of justice AM Khanvilkar and justice AR Joshi. The bench, however, directed the society to approach the bench hearing other petitions pertaining to Adarsh. On January 29, 2011, the CBI registered an offence against 13 members of Adarsh society, including retired defence personnel, bureaucrats and politicians, alleging that they abused their position for undue personal gain.