HC directs Adarsh to file formal application seeking plea transfer

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed the Adarsh housing society to file a formal application seeking transfer of its plea challenging the demolition order of the 31-storey building. The court has also asked the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to file a reply in the High Court to the petition filed by the society. While the society has been asked to file its application in two weeks, the MoEF is to file its reply in four weeks.

A division bench of acting Chief Justice D D Sinha and Justice K K Tated observed that this case will also set legal position for other similar cases involving environmental disputes. The judges said they would hear the stand of all sides on the issue.

The Adarsh society had moved the High Court in February last year challenging an order of demolition of the building in Cuffe Parade, which was passed in the previous month. Two months later, the court had stayed the demolition order.

The society now contends that with the setting up of the National Green Tribunal, their petition should be now heard by the tribunal. The petition will now be heard on January 29.

Apart from the dispute involving the demolition of the structure, a public interest litigation demanding invoking of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act against the accused is pending in the court.

The Union government, through the Ministry of Defence (MoD), has also recently filed a suit claiming ownership of the land on which the building stands.

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