Mumbai, Dec 14: The ministry of defence (MoD) on Friday approached the Bombay High Court seeking claim on the land on which the scam-hit Adarsh Housing Society building stands in upscale south Mumbai. The ministry filed a title suit in the HC stating that the land in Colaba, where the 31-storey flat complex has been constructed, belongs to them, and sought its possession.
The MoD move comes eight months after a Maharashtra government-appointed judicial panel concluded that the land belonged to the state government and was not reserved for Kargil war widows or their families as claimed in some quarters. The two-member inquiry panel had submitted its report to the Maharashtra Government in April this year.
On May 28, the Ministry issued notices to the State and Adarsh society, asking them to acknowledge MoD's ownership of the plot and hand over its possession within two months failing which it would file a civil suit in a competent court. The Ministry, in the suit, has alleged that the residential complex, which has over 100 flats - some of them owned by retired defence officers - has been constructed "illegally and unlawfully". It further said the MoD is the sole owner of the land, which was transferred to Adarsh Housing Society by "fraud, collusion and connivance on the part of the society members, Ministers and bureaucrats of the state government".
The suit is likely to come up for hearing in due course of time. Earlier, the Ministry had filed a petition in the HC seeking implementation of the January 2011 order of demolition passed by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest against Adarsh. The MoD had claimed the building was a security threat to the defence establishments located in its vicinity.