Adarsh: Panel raps Maha govt over silence on land ownership

Posted By: Pti
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Mumbai, April 28: The inquiry commission set up to probe the Adarsh Housing Society scam today questioned Maharashtra government's silence on the ownership of the disputed land in south Mumbai.

"Why is the state government not saying anything on ownership of the land ? The Army has submitted documents claiming the land belongs to them but the state government is keeping silent. Government should be more concerned and prompt," retired High Court Justice J A Patil, who is heading the two-member commission said.

The matter came to the fore after the Ministry of Defence today submitted two ''development plans'' showing that the land where the 31-storey Adarsh Society stands at Colaba has been under its ownership even prior to 1937 as per the records.

"The two plans show that the land was with the Army even prior to 1937 and hence the society's claims that it had reclaimed the land from the state government in the 1970s cannot be correct," advocate Dhiren Shah, appearing for the Defence Ministry said.

Meanwhile, several departments of the state government including the MMRDA, Urban Development and Environment department again sought time to submit all documents pertaining to the Adarsh Society.

"Summons were issued to every department in January. If so many extensions are sought to submit documents, then the commission would not be able to submit its report in the stipulated time period," senior counsel Dipan Merchant, appearing for the commission, said.

The commission, which was expected to start recording evidence of the first witness in the case, Brigadier Deepak Saxena, has adjourned the hearing till May 2.

The panel is constituted to look into issues such as whether the land where Adarsh came up was reserved for kin of Kargil war martyrs, and alleged irregularities and violation of environmental norms while giving various permissions for the construction.


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