HC asks Centre to file affidavit on Adarsh transfer plea

The Bombay High Court today directed the Union government to file its reply on an application filed by Adarsh Housing Society seeking transfer of its petition, challenging the demolition order passed against it, to the National Green Tribunal.

A division bench of Justices A S Oka and Mridula Bhatkar, while adjourning the matter till April 22, said no further extension would be granted to the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) to file its affidavit.

The 31-storey plush society had in January this year filed an application seeking transfer of its petition, challenging the demolition order passed by the MoEF, to the NGT.

The society has based its plea on a direction given by the Supreme Court while hearing the Bhopal gas tragedy case, that all cases which question the provisions of environment law should be heard by the green tribunal.

According to the society, when it had filed a petition in February 2011 challenging the demolition order the green tribunal was not functioning.

"Now two benches have been constituted and hence even this petition should be transferred to the tribunal," the society claimed.

Additional Solicitor General Kevic Setalvad had earlier, however, opposed the society's application.

The order for demolishing the 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.

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