Adarsh scam: Ashok Chavan files affidavit

Last Updated: Mon, Jun 20, 2011 12:51 hrs

Filing his eight-page affidavit before the two-member Justice Patil commission that is probing the scam, Chavan said, "I say that there was no question of my suggesting that civilian members be included in the Society. And any suggestion that this was discussed with me or that I had suggested or directed or decided on the same is false and denied."

"In the meeting I have asked the department only to look into the issue relating to the allotment of the land and call for the required information in the respect thereof. No decision was taken at the meeting," the then Revenue Minister said.

"At that stage the matter relating to allotment of land was still only at the stage of verification of the proposal and there was no question of the Revenue department having taken any decision on allotment of land," Chavan said.

Without naming his predecessor Vilasrao Deshmukh, the Maharashtra CM passed the blame to him and said: "This decision for allotment of land took place more than 16 months after I ceased to be the Revenue Minister. In view of this, I have no personal knowledge of any matter regarding the actual verification/approval of members by the department or matters related to allotment of the land to the Society."

"Matters relating to the eligibility of membership of the Society, reservation of the land or membership of the society for defence personnel were all matters which were governed by the GR," said Chavan.

Chavan was forced to quit as Chief Minister Nov 9 last year after it was revealed that his kin including late mother-in-law, owned flats in the Adarsh society.

Deshmukh on June 17 said the land on which the controversial Adarsh Housing Society has been built, belongs to the state government and was not reserved for defence personnel and Kargil war heroes.

Filing an affidavit before the two-member panel, the Union Minister for Rural Development said: "The records maintained with the office of the Collector of Mumbai clearly show that the land belonged to the state government. The ownership of the land was never an issue at any stage so far I am concerned."

Deshmukh said the plot in Colaba was not reserved for defence personnel and Kargil war heroes.

"Neither under the Development Plan for Greater Mumbai, n or under any of the policies of the Maharashtra government, was the land allotted to defence personnel," said Deshmukh.

The minister also brushed off activist Santosh Daundkar's allegations that he had links with Kanaihyalal Gidwani, one of the promoters of Adarsh Society.

"I deny that it was on the insistence of Gidwani that the Revenue department was asked to put up the case of allotment of land to Adarsh," Deshmukh said in a 15-page affidavit.

On May 26, Union Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde also said the Adarsh plot was 'not reserved' for defence personnel and Kargil war heroes.

In an affidavit, Shinde said: "The plot where Adarsh stands is owned by the State of Maharashtra. The plot was not reserved for Defence personnel or Kargil war heroes."

"The Letter of Intent dated January 18, 2003 made it clear that the land was allotted according to Government Resolution (GR) of July 1999 which did not provide reservation for war heroes," said Shinde in his affidavit.

He said no complaints on Adarsh allotment was received by his during his tenure as Maharashtra Chief Minister.

"During my tenure as Chief Minister from May 2003 till November 2004, I did not get any complaint about any alleged irregularity in allotment of the land to Adarsh Society," said his affidavit.

The 30-storey apartment, housing many top level defence officials, was built on a disputed army land at Colaba and the flats meant for the families of the Kargil martyrs were allotted to top defence officials and kins of politicians.

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