RC Thakur, a former defence official and one of the promoters of Adarsh housing society in Colaba on Wednesday told the judicial commission set up to probe allegations of illegal land acquisition that he did not inform the ministry of defence (MoD) about seeking land allotment from the state government even though he knew the said plot was in possession of the Local Military Authority (LMA).
"While applying to the government of Maharashtra for allotment of the land in question, I did not write even a single letter to the MoD, though my impression was that it was in possession of the local military authority," Thakur told the commission.
Thakur was a junior officer in the defence estates department between 1999 and 2000, when the project was mooted.
In his deposition, Thakur said he never tried to find out from the LMA who was in possession of the land or to whom it belonged.
Though the Army has been claiming ownership of the controversial land, the state government insists it is the actual owner and the Army was merely in possession of it.
Thakur also claimed that the society had included the name of civilians as society members to thank them for helping push the project. "We included civilians in this list because we had taken their help to get allotment of the land to the society," Thakur said.
Thakur said the main people who helped him were ex-MLC Kanhaiyalal Gidwani and his two sons, Kailash and Amit.