The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has sent a notice to the Maharashtra government claiming the ownership of the land on which the Adarsh Housing Society is built. According to the notice, the land was taken by fraud, connivance between politicians, bureaucrats and defence officials, and that the Maharashtra government is illegally denying property to the Centre.
"The 31-storey building (Adarsh) has been constructed illegally and unlawfully. The MoD is the sole owner of the land. By fraud, collusion and connivance on part of Adarsh members, ministers and bureaucrats of the state government and officials from the defence ministry acting beyond their scope of authority, the land was transferred to Adarsh society," the notice claims.
The notice, which was sent to the Chief Secretary of Maharashtra, Registrar of Cooperative Societies and Adarsh society, also says that if the Maharashtra government does not reply within 60 days, the Ministry of Defence will file a title suit in the Bombay High Court.
"In a final attempt to avoid litigation, the defence ministry calls upon the government and Adarsh to reconsider their legal position and acknowledge title of MoD within two months," the notice reads.
However, last month, the judicial commission of inquiry looking into the Adarsh housing scam held that the land on which Adarsh Housing Society stands belongs to the government, and not the Army.
The state government had approached the commission a few months ago seeking an interim report on the points of title and reservation. A two-member panel was set up to probe the scam in January last year.
The panel, which submitted its interim report to the government on April 13, also held that the 31-storey high-rise was not reserved for war heroes and Kargil widows.
When the Adarsh scam broke, politicians, bureaucrats and Armymen were accused of grabbing Defence land. The interim report had come as a vindication of the state's stand that it was government land and it was free to allot it.
Meanwhile, the Mumbai Sessions Court is likely to pronounce its order in the bail hearing of the seven people accused in the scam today. They had filed bail applications saying the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had not filed its chargesheet even after the mandatory sixty days period from their date of arrest.
The accused in the Adarsh society scam include suspended Maharashtra Finance Secretary Pradeep Vyas, P V Deshmukh, Retired Brigadier MM Wanchoo, former Defence Estates Officer RC Thakur, Retired Major General A R Kumar, Retired Major General TK Kaul and former Congress MLC K L Gidwani.