A written opinion by additional solicitor general Darius Khambata to the Armed forces was admitted as evidence on Thursday, in the ongoing hearing on the ownership of Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society before the two-member commission.
In September 2010, Khambata had written that before approaching the high court (HC) the Armed Forces should acquire the plot of land Adarsh is built on, by issuing a notification under the Works of Defence Act, 1903, or the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, since it was a threat to security.
This implies that the Armed forces did not own the controversial plot, and until September 2010, had not contested for its ownership either.
The written opinion was among the documents presented to the two–member commission by the ministry of defence (MoD).
However on Thursday, MoD counsel, Rajni Iyer argued against it being submitted as evidence, as it was privileged communication between the client — Government of India — and the lawyer.
The commission members, however, said that the MoD could not object to the document being exhibited, after having voluntarily produced it in the first place.
In 2010, Khambata had been asked by the ministry of law and judiciary, if the Armed forces should move the HC for the Adarsh issue.
In his letter dated September 9, 2010, Khambata had said: “It was the Armed forces that handed over the possession of the land and permitted the construction of the Adarsh building thereon for several years. There is still not even a letter written foreshadowing the need to acquire Adarsh or to impose any conditions upon its user.”
He had also said that before approaching the court, “the querist must first take an informed decision (based on material) and in writing, at least on his files, giving reasons why Adarsh is a threat to security and exactly what measures are required to guard it against such a threat.”
Currently, Khambata is representing the ministry of environment and forests in the ongoing Adarsh case before the high court.