Adarsh demolition order made in hurry: Lawyer


Mumbai : The environment ministry’s decision calling for the demolition of the scam-hit Adarsh society building in Mumbai was made in hurry, the society’s counsel Satish Maneshinde said Sunday.

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“The tenor of the order is completely malafide and we challenge the demolition order,” Satish Maneshinde told NDTV.

Accusing the society of violating the spirit of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) laws, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said that the society “should be removed in entirety and the area restored”.

The environment ministry November last year had served a notice to the 31-storey housing society asking it why the illegal floors in the building should not be demolished.

“Well, I was expecting such a order to be passed by the ministry because the content of the order was leaked to the media on Thursday and Friday and this is wholly malafide and illegal. To pass an order on a Sunday like this without even any legal precedence, I totally feel it is a malafide order and we challenge it as and when we get the copy of the order,” he said.

Asked about the legal options, he said: “The first legal option is to approach the high court and society will decide the next course of action. I will advice them after seeing the copy of the order it is premature to tell what we are going to do.”

“Surprisingly, all the orders of the Adarsh society concerned are being passed on Sunday and communicated through electronic media. Electronic media is necessary for the democracy to survive but this is not the way a minister has to communicate an order to the public and to the members of the society. I think he is in lighting speed and hurry to pass an order on a Sunday.”

Maneshinde also responded to the tone of the report.

“I haven’t seen the copy of the order. The minister unfortunately does not realise that he was not a part of hearing when the hearing took place before the environmental ministry,” he said.

He also said that options will be considered after receiving the order and that he was not the final authority on this.

The building became the centre of a scam that claimed the job of former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan after allegations surfaced of collusion between bureaucrats and politicians to corner flats in the building constructed on a prime plot measuring nearly 6,500 sq metres in south Mumbai.

The building in Mumbai’s plush Colaba locality was originally meant to be a six-storey structure to house Kargil War heroes and their kin but was later extended to 31 floors allegedly without mandatory permissions.