Holding that the scam-tainted 31-storey Adarsh apartments at Colaba here – originally meant for Kargil war heroes and war widows – was illegally constructed, the Bombay High Court, on Friday, ordered its demolition and sought criminal proceedings against politicians and bureaucrats for “misuse” of powers.However, on a plea made by the Adarsh Housing Society, a division bench stayed its order to raze the building, close to the sea in South Mumbai, for 12 weeks, to enable it to file an appeal in the Supreme Court, despite the Maharashtra government opposing it.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The division bench asked the Union ministry of environment and forest to carry out the demolition at the expense of petitioners (Adarsh Society).Seen as a symbol of corruption, 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.The order was delivered in an open court by a bench of Justices RV More and RG Ketkar on a bunch of petitions filed by Adarsh Society challenging the demolition order of the Union ministry of environment and forests and a title suit filed by the defence ministry claiming that it owned the land on which the building was constructed.The court asked the Centre and state government to consider taking departmental proceedings in accordance with law against bureaucrats. “The disciplinary authority shall take decision in accordance with law without being influenced by the findings of the high court,” said the bench.The bench placed on record its appreciation for the complainant Simpreet Singh, a member of National Alliance of People’s Movement. “But for his intervention, perhaps the gross violation by the petitioners (Adarsh Society) would not have been detected,” the court observed.The court also asked the Adarsh Society to pay Rs one lakh as cost to each of the six respondents including Bharat Bhushan, director of ministry of environment and forests, Nalini Bhat, advisor and competent authority, MoEF, Sitaram Kunte, former commissioner of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and three others.Chavan parries queries Ashok Chavan, who had to resign as Maharashtra chief minister, following the multi-crore Adarsh scam controversy, refused to comment on the Bombay High Court’s historic decision. “Unless I get it in my hand the copy of the order, I cannot comment on the issue,” Chavan said. It was in February this year that the Maharashtra Governor accorded sanction to the CBI to prosecute Chavan under the provisions of the IPC in the case.
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