The two-member commission inquiring into the Adarsh Society controversy finished its hearings on Wednesday with the state government clarifying its stand before the panel that the 31-storey building in south Mumbai was constructed without Coastal Regulation Zone clearance.
Senior advocate Anil Sakhare, who represented the state before the commission, said the same stand was taken before the central government in 2010, when the controversy broke out.
“After media reports about the controversy appeared, the state government was asked to explain its position before the central government. The Ministry of Revenue and Forests had said in a written communication that the Adarsh Society does not have a valid CRZ clearance. The same statement has been made before the commission appointed by the government,” Sakhare said.
The society has interpreted a letter dated March 11, 2003 from the Union government to the Collector as an NOC. However, Union Environment and Forests Ministry director Senthil Vel, who had written the letter, has stated that it did not amount to a clearance.
The government has also asserted that the society needed to have a no-objection certificate from the defence department for the construction. The Defence Ministry, however, has opposed the construction of the structure, claiming that it is on defence land and that it is a security threat to nearby defence installations.
Deposing before the commission of Justice (retd) J A Patil and Justice P Subramhanyam in January last year, MMRDA official C Y Khandare had stated that no NOC from the Army or Navy was submitted by the society.
In its submissions before the panel, the state government has also stated that the more stringent development control regulations of 1967 was applicable to the structure, and not the DCR 1991.
The commission is now likely to submit its report on the remaining 10 of 13 issues to the government by mid- March. In April last year, the commission had submitted its report on three issues, and ruled that the land on which the society stands belongs to the state government.