SC tells MoD to take over Adarsh Housing Society in Mumbai, stays demolition plan

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday directed the defence ministry to take possession of the Adarsh Housing Society apartments in Mumbai and the land on which the building stands and secure it from encroachment.

A bench of Justices J. Chelameswar and A.M. Sapre asked the Mumbai municipal authorities not to carry out the demolition of the building, though it did not pass a specific order to this effect.

On the Adarsh Housing Society’s persistence that the Bombay High Court decision ordering demolition be stayed, the bench said the word “secure” meant there would be no razing.

Earlier, senior counsel Shekar Naphade, appearing for the society, pleaded that the Bombay High Court order directing demolition of the structure and resumption of lands be stayed. Solicitor general Ranjit Kumar assured that the defence ministry would secure the building and the land and there would be no demolition.

When the bench wanted to know whether there was any occupant in the flats, Mr Naphade and the SG informed the court that the building was lying unoccupied from 2010. The SG said the occupancy certificate  issued to the society was later rescinded and no one had occupied the flats.

Mr Naphade, however, said some of them had kept their furniture in the flats and the office-bearers may be allowed to remove them. The bench agreed and passed an order to this effect.

The Bench also asked the registrar-general of the Bombay HC to ensure that either he, or a registrar nominated by him, oversee the handing over of possession of the building on or before August 5.

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