29 April, Mumbai
Bombay High Court has ordered demolition of the controversial 31-storey Adarsh Housing Society in Mumbai.
The High Court Friday also directed the Maharashtra Government to initiate criminal proceedings against politicians, ministers and bureaucrats, if not already done, for misuse of powers while granting permissions to Adarsh.
However, the Division Bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice R.G. Ketkar have stayed its order for a period of 12 weeks during which Adarsh Society can file an appeal in the Supreme Court. Upholding the Union Environment Ministry’s order to demolish the building, the High Court also ruled that the demolition will be carried out at the expense of Adarsh Society.
The multi-crore Adarsh scam, unearthed in November 2010 had sparked a political controversy in Maharashtra leading to resignation of then Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, whose name appeared in CBI charge sheet. Two former Maharashtra Chief Ministers, Sushil Kumar Shinde and Vilasrao Deshmukh were also allegedly involved in Adarsh Scam.
Standing on a prime piece of land in South Mumbai’s Colaba, Adarsh Society was originally meant to be a six-storey structure to house Kargil war heroes and war widows but was eventually developed into a 31-storey high-rise flouting several environment norms and without requisite permissions. The building remains unoccupied and without electricity and water supply.