In scathing remarks, the HC also observed that the state government seemed to have gone "out of way" to please former army chiefs Deepak Kapur and Nirmal Chandar Wij, who were initially not allotted flats because they were not state residents for 15 years, but later got the flats as "exceptional cases".
A division bench of Justices B H Marlapalle and U D Salvi also asked why the state government had not filed any first information report against the guilty. The HC made the observations while hearing a petition filed by Adarsh society challenging cancellation of occupation certificate and disconnection of water and power supply by the civic authorities. "You took action against the society, what about the government officers? Why no FIR was registered till now," the HC asked.
After going through the records pertaining to the society, and to the approval granted to its members in stages, the court said, "It is a clear-cut case of manipulation by the collectorate, the state revenue ministry and urban development ministry. Everybody who was supposed to clear the file was gifted a flat," it observed.
The HC also observed that contrary to the government's stand, the land on which the building stands was in the possession of the defence ministry, but this status was altered by the order of P V Deshmukh, a deputy secretary with the urban development department, in 2004.
The judges referred to the relevant letter by Deshmukh while passing this remark. "How this happened? Everything changed after this. No CBI inquiry is going to help now," said Justice Marlapalle.
Reading aloud some of the names in the list of members, the court wondered how the people staying in Sangli or Kolhapur came to know about Adarsh allotment, or could afford a flat there.
Adarsh lawyers, senior counsel Rafiq Dada and Janak Dwarakadas earlier deplored that the objection certificate was cancelled and water and power connections cut off without giving any hearing to the society.
Justice Marlapalle noted that though the society was earlier meant for defence personnnel, not even 50 per cent of current 104 members were from defence services. The judge suggested that if the members with the defence forces background were willing to shift to first 12 floors of the 31-storey building, the court may order interim restoration of power-water supply upto 12 storeys.The lawyers sought time till December 23 for getting instructions from the society.