Monday, May 13, 2013

Adarsh panel ‘spares’ ex-CMs, blames babus

Mumbai: Finding that rules were bent for allotting land and granting various concessions to Adarsh housing society in Colaba, the two-member judicial commission appointed to probe the scam has reportedly spared three former chief ministers.

Sources said the commission’s recently submitted report did not fix direct responsibility on or pass adverse remarks against Ashok Chavan, Sushilkumar Shinde and the late Vilasrao Deshmukh. It instead pinned the responsibility on seven to eight retired or acting senior state officials for the lapses and for misleading the CMs.

Sources said the commission referred extensively to the CBI chargesheet, among other documents, while fixing responsibility on officials.

While the CBI chargesheet named four retired and acting IAS officers—Subhash Lala, Ramanand Tiwari, Jairaj Phatak and Pradeep Vyas—and a retired government officer, PV Deshmukh, as the accused in the case, sources said the commission fixed responsibility on other officers too.

Reiterating that the land allotted to Adarsh belonged to the state and rejecting defence establishment’s claim of ownership of the plot, the commission reportedly observed that rules were bent for the allotment of the land to the society.

The commission observed that no advertisement or public notification was brought out to invite applications for the allotment of the revenue land in violation of norms. The plot was allotted to Adarsh in 2003.

The commission also questioned an April 10, 2002, notification issued by the urban development department for reduction of width of the Captain Prakash Pethe Marg from 60.97 m to 18.92 m and modification of reservations on the deleted portions. It observed that the decision was “one-sided.’’

It reportedly found that rules were violated and incorrect Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning provisions were applied while allowing the society to use the FSI of a neighbouring 2,670 sq m BEST plot as a special case on payment of charges.

The commission found some truth in the allegation that many society flats were benami, reportedly pointing out 20 such instances. It raised questions on affidavits filed by at least 35 of the 103 society members and did not rule out bogus affidavits.

Naming Congress leader Kanhaiyalal Gidwani as having played a major role in the land allotment and extension of concessions, the commission questioned the source of finance for some members.

It pointed out that San Finance owned by businessman Ajay Sancheti provided loans to 10 members and builder Jayant Shah, known to be close to Ashok Chavan, gave loans for five flats. It pointed a finger of suspicion on the ownership of two flats, of Raghunath Bhonsale and Rupali Raorane. Allegations linking these flats to two senior ministers were raised in the past.

Sources also said the state government failed to insist on submission of the report in time for it to be placed before the recently concluded budget session. The government has indicated it would submit an action taken report during the monsoon session.
Sandeep Ashar TNN

No comments:

Post a Comment