In an order that sends a strong message against corruption, the Bombay High Court ordered the Union Environment Ministry to demolish 31-storey Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society.
However, the counsel for Adarsh Housing Society pleaded for a 12-week stay on the demolition order to enable its appeal in the Supreme Court and the high court bench granted a stay.
The state and environment authorities objected to the stay. The court also directed the state to initiate criminal prosecution against officers involved in the scam and to restore the plot. The order to raze the building comes after the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) passed an order to demolish the scam-hit society in 2011, following which its members approached the Bombay High Court challenging it. The ministry had on January 16, 2011 directed the Society to demolish within three months the “unauthorised” building for violating coastal regulations.
The high court also directed the defence ministry to conduct a departmental inquiry against its officers for not taking action earlier.
The bench of Justices RV More and RG Ketkar also directed the Ministry of Defence to conduct a departmental inquiry into its officers for not taking action early enough when the building scam came to light.
The society, originally meant to be a six-storey structure to house Kargil war heroes and war widows, was converted into a 100-metre-tall building with politicians, bureaucrats and army officers allegedly conspiring to get flats allotted to them in the cooperative society at below-market rates. […]