Adarsh moves court to transfer demolition plea
Controversial Adarsh Housing Society today moved the Bombay high court and urged it to transfer its petition challenging the demolition order passed against it by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) to the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
Arguing on behalf of the society, senior counsel Janak Dwarkadas, appearing for the Society, contended that the Supreme Court in August directed that all petitions involving environmental issues be transferred to the Tribunal. A request was made before a division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Anoop Mohta, which was hearing a petition filed by the South Mumbai Society in February last year challenging the order of demolition passed by the MoEF.
The order for demolishing the 31-storey plush Society in posh Colaba was passed in January 2011 for alleged violation of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms and not obtaining permission from the Ministry before construction.
"Last year, the Society was left with no option but to approach the High Court challenging the demolition order as the NGT was not functioning. But now two benches have been constituted and hence this matter can be transferred there," Dwarkadas said.
He said that pursuant to the apex court directions, the Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh High Courts were transferring cases pertaining to environment law to the NGT.
Additional Solicitor General Kevic Setalvad said the Ministry of Defence was in the final stage of filing a suit. claiming ownership on the land in which the building stands.
Justice Mohta, however, recused himself from the case without assigning any reason. The matter will now be placed before another bench.