Monday, November 15, 2010

state vs MoD over land ownership claim

CBI investigations into the Adarsh housing scam have revealed that the land on which the controversial building stood was owned by the defence ministry. 

The ministry of defence is also gathering evidence to prove its ownership claim. It is believed to have got hold of a 1976 Survey of India Map, which shows the disputed plot as being within the defence boundary. The Colaba-based defence estate office is also believed to have submitted a 1964 communication from the state public works department to the local military authorities mentioning encroachments that had surfaced on the plot, and asking them to disclose the ownership title. 

"While this letter does not prove that we owned the plot, it certainly shows that we were in possession," a source in the defence estates office said. The MoD has also collected photographic evidence and log records to further strengthen its claim on the plot. 

The state, meanwhile, has maintained its stand that the land could not belong to the armed forces, as it had been reserved for the purpose of a road link in 1985. While the MoD has said that the ownership of the land was transferred to them in lieu of another defence-owned plot at Golibar rifle range in Santa Cruz in 1958, the state denies existence of any record to suggest that the exchange took place.