Pay for maintenance of equipment at society building, SC tells Adarsh Society

New Delhi, Aug 29 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society (ACHS) to pay if it wanted maintenance of the equipment installed at the 28-storeyed controversial building in Mumbai that is now in the directorate of military estates’ custody.

A bench of Justice J. Chelameswar and Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre said this as senior counsel Chandra Uday Singh, appearing for the society, urged the court to direct the maintenance of the equipment comprising lifts, power generator, fire-fighting equipment and a pump house.

The bench was told that entire equipment whose maintenance the ACHS was seeking was worth Rs 15 crore and if it was not maintained, then it will not operate and also damage the building.

Rejecting the society’s plea to permit its representatives to access the building for a few hours every day for maintenance of the equipment, the bench offered it two options – either pay for it or take away the equipment and bring it back if it “at all” succeeds in saving the building.

“If you at all succeed (in saving the building, ordered to be demolished by the Bombay High Court in its April 29 order), then you will get the building, then pay for its maintenance,” the bench told Singh.

However, the bench said that government too can maintain the equipment it if it decides to use the building during the pendency of the society’s plea against high court judgment directing the demolition of the controversial building.

Singh then sought adjournment of the hearing, saying that the society would like to deliberate on the issue.

Adjourning the matter for further hearing on September 1, the bench also asked Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar to take instructions if the government wanted to use this building and take the responsibility of maintaining the equipment.

The court had on July 22 refused to pass any interim order on the ACHS’s plea for the stay of the April 29 high court judgment for demolition but gave the possession of the building to the defence estates directorate.

Ranjit Kumar, meanwhile, told the court that the ACHS had not complied with July 22 order of the court by which it was hand over possession of the building to defence estates.

The bench was told that there were 104 flats, and 93 of them were locked, and the defence estates have put their own seal on these flats.

The bench was told that the society have not even removed their furniture from the flats as ordered by the court on July 22.



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