New Delhi: The Supreme Court has restrained Maharashtra government from acquiring the land on which Mumbai's controversial Adarsh society building has been erected, and asked whether it would refund the money paid by the society for the land.
A bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar stayed the direction passed by the Bombay High Court in April 2016 on an appeal moved by the Adarsh society residents.
It noted that the HC had said that the land in Colaba has been directed to be resumed by due process of law.
“A question would arise whether such a due process of law envisages refund of the amount paid by the petitioner-society for the land as the land is being offered as a security. This direction, of course, is stayed pending consideration of appeal against that order," stated the court order on Tuesday.
The bench, also comprising Justice Sanjay K Kaul, said that the state of Maharashtra should be called upon to explain.
"Let notice be issued to the State of Maharashtra through the standing counsel by way of dasti. A copy of the order to accompany the notice so that the state of Maharashtra is able to give appropriate instructions in the matter," directed the court. It fixed the matter for May 16 for further hearing.
The HC had in 2016 ordered for demolition of Adarsh building over gross illegalities in its construction and allotment of flats.
Later, the Supreme Court has stayed the demolition after the Adarsh society moved in appeal against the order. On orders of the top court, the Central government is currently securing the building.
Adarsh is a 31-storey building in Colaba in south Mumbai whose apartments were intended for war veterans but were grabbed by politicians, defence officers and bureaucrats.
Congress' Ashok Chavan was forced to quit as Chief Minister in 2010 after it was revealed that three of his relatives had also been given apartments in the building.