The Adarsh inquiry commission was told on Friday that in 1997, the Army headquarters had been made aware it was in unauthorised possession of the land on which the 31-storey Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society stands.
General officer commanding Maharashtra and Gujarat, brigadier Deepak Saxena told the Adarsh commission that the Defence Estate Officer had informed the Army headquarters of this in a letter dated November 1997.
Interestingly, the Army had been staking claim to the piece of land called block VI, on a part of which the Adarsh building stands.
The Army, however, never made any formal application to the state government for the transfer of the land.
The Defence Estate Officer in 1991 had tried to get legal opinion on staking claim on this piece of land and had written a letter to the assistant legal advisor, ministry of law and justice, on whether the land could be treated as defence-owned.
The opinion by the legal advisor was that the land could not be treated as defence land unless the state government made a formal transfer.
Inspite of this legal opinion, the ministry of defence did not make any formal application to the state government for the transfer of the said land.