The Bombay High Court on Thursday rejected a plea of scam-tainted Adarsh Housing Society here opposing a title suit filed by the Defence Ministry regarding the land on which the building stands. A bench headed by Chief Justice Manjula Chellur dismissed the appeal filed by Adarsh Society against the order of a single judge of the high court rejecting the society’s petition.
The society had contended that the officer who signed the suit on behalf of the Defence Ministry was not authorised to do so. The ministry denied this contention.
The Defence Ministry filed the suit in the Bombay High Court in December 2012, two years after it came to light that the 31—storey Adarsh building was constructed in violation of several civic and environmental norms.
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The Defence Ministry said the land belonged to it and it should be given its possession. The ministry alleged that the building was constructed ‘illegally and unlawfully’.
The land was transferred to the Adarsh Society through fraud, collusion and connivance on the part of the society members, ministers and bureaucrats of Maharashtra government, it said.
The society opposed the suit saying that only the Defence Estate Officer can file such suits. It relied on a government order issued in 1930, during the British rule, and ‘military land manual’ to make this claim.
The High Court had ordered demolition of the Adarsh building after holding that it was constructed illegally. The Supreme Court stayed the order on the society’s appeal. The matter is still pending before the apex court.