Mumbai: Pulling up the Maharashatara government, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday observed that the controversial Adarsh society smacked of “a clear-cut case of manipulation” by its officers in which everybody who was supposed to clear the file was “gifted” a flat.
In scathing remarks, the Court also observed that the state government seemed to have gone “out of way” to please former army chiefs Deepak Kapur and Nirmal Chandar Wij, who were intially not allotted flat because they were not state residents for 15 years, but later got the flats as “exceptional cases”.
A division bench of justices B H Marlapalle and U D Salvi also asked why the state government had not filed any FIR against the guilty.
The court made the observations while hearing a petition filed by Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society challenging cancellation of occupation certificate and disconnection of water and power supply by the civic authorities.
“You took action against Society, what about the government officers? Why no FIR was registered till now?” the High Court said.
After going through the records pertaining to the society, and to the approval granted to its members in stages, court said: “It is a clear-cut case of manipulation by the collectorate, the state revenue ministry and urban development ministry.
“Everybody who was supposed to clear the file was gifted a flat,” the court observed.
The High Court also observed that contrary to the government’s stand, the land on which the building stands was in the possession of the defence ministry, but this status was altered by the order of P V Deshmukh, a deputy secretary with the urban development department, in 2004.
The judges referred to the relevant letter by Deshmukh while passing this remark. “How this happened? Everything changed after this...No CBI inquiry is going to help now,” said Justice Marlapalle.
Reading aloud some of the names in the list of members, the court wondered how the people staying in Sangli or Kolhapur came to know about Adarsh allotment, or could afford a flat there.
Adarsh lawyers, senior counsel Rafiq Dada and Janak Dwarakadas earlier deplored that OC was cancelled and water and power connections cut off without giving any hearing to the society.
Justice Marlapalle noted that though the Society was earlier meant for defence personnnel, not even 50% of current 104 members were from defence services.
The judge suggested that if the members with the defence forces background were willing to shift to first 12 floors of the 31-storey building, the court may order interim restoration of power-water supply upto 12 storeys.
The lawyers sought time till 23 December for getting instructions from the Society.