The Bombay High Court on Friday directed Ministry of Environment to demolish the Adarsh Housing Society in Mumbai’s Colaba, which has been in controversies since 2010. The 31-storey building was planned for the welfare of the Indian army personnel and war widows, but a probe found that politicians and bureaucrats were getting flats at low cost.

The high court ordered the Ministry of Environment and Forests to demolish. The court, however, granted 12 weeks stay on the demolition directions, giving time to the housing society’s counsel to appeal to the Supreme Court.

The high court also ordered an investigation against the politicians, bureaucrats, ministers and officers, who are allegedly involved in the scam.

The court also ordered the Ministry of Defence to initiate a departmental inquiry against its officers who failed to start an investigation when the scam came to light in November 2010.

As per the initial plan, the project was to build a six-storey structure to provide housing to war veterans and widows, but it was later planned for a 31-storey high-rise complex with flats allotted to several politicians, bureaucrats and  many army officers at a very  low cost.

Judicial commission’s inquiry into the Adarsh Housing Society scam also found that 25 of the 102 members of the society were allotted flats illegally and 22 cases showing flats were bought on proxies.

The inquiry also revealed, former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan’s three relatives were also allotted flats in the complex , after which the Congress leader had to resign from the post of chief minister.

The probe also found that the builders had not got environmental clearance to construct the high-rise building.

 

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