The Army has begun taking possession of the scam-tainted Adarsh building in Colaba in South Mumbai. Army’s takeover comes after a recent Supreme Court order.
A team of Defence personnel carrying out the takeover from Adarsh Housing Society, which was originally built for Kargil war heroes and war widows.
“On behalf of Government of India, Indian Army is taking over possession of the building from Adarsh Society to ensure its security and prevent any encroachment. The process is being supervised by a Registrar nominated by the Bombay High Court,” a defence spokesperson said.
On July 22, the Supreme Court had asked the Centre to “secure” and not pull down the 31-storeyed building. It had asked the Army to take complete possession by August 5.
The court had also asked the Registrar General of the Bombay High Court to ensure that either he or any other Registrar nominated by him, supervises the handing over of the building.
Earlier, the Bombay High Court had ordered demolition of the building and had sought initiation of criminal proceedings against politicians and bureaucrats for “misuse” of powers, holding that the tower was illegally constructed.
The High Court, while ordering demolition, had stayed the operation of its order to pull down the building close to the sea at Colaba for 12 weeks to enable the Housing Society to move the apex court with the appeal.
In its order, the HC bench had asked the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest to carry out the demolition at the expense of petitioners (Adarsh Society).
It had also asked the Centre and Maharashtra Government to consider initiating civil and criminal proceedings against bureaucrats, ministers and politicians for misuse and abuse of power to get plots under the scheme, originally meant for Kargil war heroes and war widows.
The Adarsh scam kicked up a huge political storm after it surfaced in 2010, leading to the resignation of the then Congress Chief Minister Ashok Chavan.
(With inputs from PTI)