Adarsh society seeks dismissal of title suit filed by MoD

Adarsh society seeks dismissal of title suit filed by MoD

Terming the title suit filed by Ministry of Defence over the plot in south Mumbai where Adarsh society stands as 'bad in law and without proper sanction', the society sought the Bombay High Court to dismiss it.

The society in an application sought the court to hold the suit, filed by Defence Ministry through its General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat area, without proper sanction and authority in law.

According to the society, which has been embroiled in a dispute with the Defence Ministry over ownership of the plot in Colaba here, the Military Land Manual sets out a detailed procedure for filing of title suits which has not been followed by the ministry while filing the suit.

The Defence Ministry in December 2012 had approached the High Court through its GOC stating that the land where the 31-storey Adarsh building is constructed belongs to them (defence ministry) and possession should be handed back.

The society, in its application filed by Vidhii Partners law firm, has claimed that as per the manual all title suits have to be filed by the Defence Estates Officer.

"The Defence Estates Officer is in immediate control over defence lands and is the custodian of the title documents of the defence properties which is maintained in the form of entries in the Military Land Register," the society states.

It adds that as per provision, the defence estates officer is required to prepare a report with documentary evidence regarding ownership along with an extract from the Military Land Register.

"The report should be then sent to the local government pleader for legal opinion and then forwarded to the deputy director, Military Lands and Cantonments for sanction to file title suit," the application claims.

"In the present case procedure has not been followed. This is apparent from the fact that the suit has not been filed by Union of India through the Defence Estates Officer but through the General Officer Commanding. The suit has not even been verified and signed by the defence estates officer," it says.

Society's lawyer Saket Mone added that admittedly there is no entry in the military land register in respect of the property where Adarsh building stands.

"This has been admitted by the defence estates officer during her cross examination before the inquiry commission," Mone said.

Justice S J Kathawala is likely to hear the suit on October 25.

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