Mumbai: The Bombay High Court Thursday suggested to the promoters and members of the Adarsh Housing Society to hand over the controversial 31-storey building to the defence authorities because it posed threat to the sensitive installations in the city.
A division bench of Justices P.B. Majmudar and R.D. Dhanuka also asked the members to follow the footsteps of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, to realize their “mistake” and give the building to the defence authorities. “There is nothing wrong in accepting the mistake and surrendering before the law. You are not murders or terrorists or criminals. You may have committed a mistake, but there can be a change of heart,” the judges observed.
Reiterating that the security of the nation was of prime importance, Justice Majmudar said: “We need to learn from terror attacks and they have already come up to the Taj Mahal Hotel. Tomorrow, they may attack sensitive defence establishments… It’s a serious matter, should not be taken lightly.”
Invoking Gandhi, who never coveted any money or materialistic possessions, the court said that in future, people would remember such politicians who had the courage to accept their mistake.
The ministry of defence has already filed a plea demanding that the building could pose a security threat and should be handed over to the authorities.
The judges also wanted to know how the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) did not seek a no objection certificate from the defence authorities for the building. “The land is very close to defence installations and before granting clearance they should have considered the security aspects,” the judges said, and directed both the civic bodies to explain their position on this point at the next hearing April 30.
The investigations into the Adarsh scam have picked up speed with as many as seven arrests, including that of a retired army official and top bureaucrats, after the high court recently pulled up the investigating agencies for their slack probe.
The judges nodded their approval at the progress and expressed faith that the investigations would be completed soon. The high court has been hearing a bunch of public interest litigations filed by social activists Simpreet Singh and Pravin Wagegaonkar.