On 22 July, the Supreme Court quashed the Bombay High Court's decision to demolish the controversial Adarsh Building society in Mumbai.
The Court directed the Centre to take over the possession within one week.
In April 2016, the Bombay High Court had ordered the demolition of the 31-storey Adarsh apartments situated in the heart of Mumbai. The scam that led to the resignation of former Chief Minister of Maharashtra Ashok Chavan, pertained to alleged irregularities in construction and allotment of apartments in the high rise. The scam kicked up a huge political storm after it surfaced in 2010.
A timeline of the Adarsh Housing Society scam
1. The upscale Adarsh Housing Society in Colaba, was originally built to house 1999 Kargil war heroes and war widows. However, the flats were allotted to bureaucrats and relatives of politicians who had not contributed to the Kargil war in any way.
2. The building, originally meant to be a six-storey structure, landed up being a 31 storied one. Additionally, the flats worth Rs 6-8 crore were sold for Rs 60-75 lakh to members of the housing society. The posh apartment block also stood next to a planned helipad. It was alleged that the society had violated Indian environment ministry rules
3. The issue was raised in 2003 but only came into limelight in 2010, causing the army and CBI to launch a massive probe into the entire issue. RTI activists also revealed that the Army had been in "de facto" possession of the 6,490-sq mt prime land for over 60 years before the Adarsh Society highrise came up there in 2003, Business Standard reported.
4. Then Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Ashok Chavan was forced to resign in 2010 after it was revealed that he had allotted flats to a numbers of relatives in the society. In fact, when Chavan's successor, Prithviraj Chavan ordered a judicial inquiry into the scam, some of the important documents and files went missing. After which, the case was taken up by the Bombay High Court.
5. In February 2012, the High Court slammed the CBI for not arresting any of the accused despite possessing evidence and directed the CBI to take immediate action. Following which, the CBI carried out eight arrests, including that of two retired Major Generals - TK Kaul and AR Kumar, retired brigadier MM Wanchoo, former General Officer Commanding(GOC) of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa, Adarsh promoter Kanhaiyalal Gidwani and Pradeep Vyas, the then city collector and current finance secretary (expenditure) in the Govt. of Maharashtra. However, seven of them were granted bail by a special court.
6. In 2013, the Adarsh Commission submitted its final report to the state government stating that land or membership of the Adarsh CHS was not reserved for Defence Personnel or Kargil War heroes and belonged to the government of Maharashtra.
7. Union Minister and former Chief Minister of Maharashtra, the late Vilasrao Deshmukh also came under the scanner after it was reported that he gave certain crucial clearances that enabled the society to go ahead and build 32 more flats. However, he claimed that land was allotted to the housing society after getting clearance from the Revenue Department, passing the buck to his successor, Ashok Chavan, who headed the department then.
8. In 2014, the Bombay High Court dismissed a CBI plea seeking to drop Ashok Chavan's name as an accused in the scam.
9. In a landmark judgement, the Bombay high court on 29 April, 2016,ordered the demolition of the building and sought criminal proceedings against politicians and bureaucrats for "misuse" of powers, holding that the tower was illegally constructed.
10. The Adarsh housing society moved the Supreme court against Bombay High Court's decision.