The Union Defence Ministry is set to submit a point-by-point rebuttal to the report of a Maharashta government-appointed commission that said that Adarsh land belonged to the state.
In an affidavit to be filed in the Bombay High Court this week,the ministry will draw attention to 16 serious discrepancies and contradictions in the Adarsh commissions report. A copy of the ministrys internal report is available with The Indian Express.
Last week,the Defence Ministry had sought permission to intervene in several PILs filed before the high court on the Adarsh issue.
Its affidavit notes that the land in question,Block VI in upscale Colaba of South Bombay,existed much before the 1940s and was not reclaimed. Maharashtras stand before the commission has been that the land was reclaimed sometime in 1976,though it did not have any documents to back this.
The ministry,on the other hand,cites a 1958 report of the S G Barve Committee that apparently identifies the strip of land on which Adarsh stands today. The report,commissioned by the then government of Bombay,focused on traffic congestion,deficiency of open spaces,shortage of housing and over-concentration of industry in the city.
Dhiren Shah,who is appearing on behalf of the Defence Ministry,confirmed that their suit will reflect the contradictions in the Adarsh commissions report.
The ministrys affidavit is also like to cite an important witness,Lt Col Vikram Singh Bhadaria,Garrison Engineer (West),Colaba,who submitted an area map of a station health office,one of the oldest buildings in the area built in 1940-41,showing a triangular patch of land. This patch is identified as Block VI.
Incidentally,while the commission accepted Bhadarias submissions,the final report did not take note of it