New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Friday refused to put on hold, for now, the demolition of the controversial Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society building in Mumbai and told the director of military estates (army) to take the custody of building and secure it.
Asking the army estate branch to take the possession of the building and the land on which it has been constructed, the bench of Justice J. Chelameswar and Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre said an inventory of documents currently kept in the office of the building society would be prepared under supervision of the registrar of the Bombay High Court before being handed over to the society office bearers .
The bench said that the possession of the Adarsh building would pass on to director of military estates or his nominee by August 5 and simultaneously the documents would be handed over to the representatives of the Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society.
While issuing notice and refusing to pass any interim order on the plea for the stay of the April 29 judgment of the Bombay High Court ordering the demolition of the controversial building, the bench said that the government would take its possession.
The court gave the custody of the Adarsh building to the director of military estate, after ascertaining that none of the flats in 31-storey building was occupied.
The court also said that the furniture that some of the flat owners had kept in their flats after getting the possession too would be handed over to the representatives of the society. The possession letters were later cancelled.
Initially the bench had said that it will ask the central government to take the possession of the building and maintain and protect it. However, Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar urged the court to hand over the possession of the building to Naval command in the area.
The court order came in the course of the hearing of a plea by the Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society challenging the April 29 Bombay High Court judgment directing the demolition of the controversial building which it held was illegally constructed.
The high court had also ordered the initiation of criminal proceedings against the politicians and bureaucrats for misusing their positions.
While court asked the director of military estate to take the possession of the building and secure it, senior counsel Shekhar Naphade expressed the apprehension that Mumbai Municipal Corporation may go ahead with the demolition of the building as directed by the High Court.
But the bench sought to dispel the apprehension expressed by Naphade saying that they have directed the director of military estate to take the custody of the building and secure it.
However, the matter was put to rest after the Solicitor General told the court: “We will secure the building and the land and there will be no demolition.”