In what could be termed as a breather to the occupants of the controversial Adarsh Society in South Mumbai, the Bombay High Court on Thursday observed that since the Supreme Court has directed all cases pertaining to environment law to be heard by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), the Adarsh case will automatically stand transferred to NGT.

A division bench of Justice DD Sinha and KK Tated made this observation while hearing the plea made by the Society which is seeking transfer of its petition challenging the demolition order passed against it by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) to NGT.

“Why should we pass an order to that effect, if the there is a direction of the Supreme Court? The case automatically stands transferred,” Mr. Sinha said.

However, advocate Som Sinha who is appearing for the central government told the court that the government is against the transfer of the case and asked the court to hear their arguments before transferring the case to NGT. The court will hear the argument on December 18.

The 31-storey Adarsh CHS was originally planned for the wives and families of army personnel who were killed in the Kargil War. But the flats in the CHS were also given to civilians and also to officers in the defence who were not related to the Kargil war.

Former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan had to resign from his post after it was learnt that his relatives own a flat in the said society. One of the promoters of the society and former Congress MLC Kanhaiyalal Gidwani passed away last month. Former CM of Maharashtra Vilasrao Deshmukh, another accused in the scam, also passed away three months ago.

Keywords: Adarsh scam