Complying with the Supreme Court order, the Indian Army on Friday took possession of the controversial 31-storied Adarsh Society building here.
A team of army officials along with the registrar of the Bombay High Court went to the skyscraper in Colaba, took it over from the Adarsh Society and secured it against any encroachments or demolition during pendency of the society's SLP in the apex court.
"The Supreme Court has ordered the central government to take over possession of the Adarsh building, during the pendency of a Special Leave Petition filed by the Adarsh society in the Supreme Court. On behalf of Government of India, the Indian Army is taking over the possession of the building from Adarsh society to ensure its security and prevent any encroachment," a Defence Ministry statement said.
The army team made an inventory and handed over all records and documents of the building to the Soceity.
Last week, the Supreme Court had ordered the central government to take possession of the building before August 5 with the entire process supervised by either the Bombay High Court registrar or his nominee.
It had also ordered the Society to refrain from dealing in the matter any more and hand over to the government all responsibility of the building, situated in the vicinity of sensitive defence installations in Mumbai.
The development came after the Bombay High Court, on April 29 ordered the building to be demolished, upholding the January 2011 order of the Ministry of Environment. This was challenged by the Society in the apex court and is currently pending disposal.
The Adarsh Society scam in which the prime flats meant for Kargil war widows or war heroes were doled out to politicians, bureaucrats and army personnel, came to light in 2010 and claimed the scalp of then Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan.