Mumbai: One of the chief promoters of the controversial Adarsh Society and former Congress MLC Kanhaiyalal Gidwani today told a judicial panel that his "relations" with ministers and bureaucrats in the Maharashtra government helped in allotment of the plot for the high-rise.
"In 1999 I was not MLC but an active member of the Shiv Sena which was then in power. It will not be incorrect to say that my good relations with ministers and bureaucrats helped allotment of plot to Adarsh society," Gidwani told a two-member inquiry commission.
He also admitted he was aware that the land was in possession of the local military authority.
"I was not asked by Brig M M Wanchoo or Adarsh Society promoter R C Thakur to use my good relations with the Ministry of Defence. I did not write any letter to the defence ministry in connection with the possession of the land," he said.
Wanchoo and R C Thakur are also accused in the case.
He, however, claimed that he was unaware that the proposed society was being built to accommodate only the family members of Kargil war martyrs and widows.
Gidwani, who along with his two sons - Kailash and Amit - owns three flats in the 31-storey building in south Mumbai, said he was approached by Thakur and Wanchoo after a plot near Oyster and Dolphin building in Colaba was first selected for constructing the high-rise.
"On J, 1999, a meeting was arranged between then chief minister Narayan Rane regarding allotment of that land. However, the proposal was turned down after the central government declined to give permission following which another plot on Block VI was selected," he said.
Gidwani has been named as an accused in the case being probed by the CBI pertaining to the acts of omission and commission in allotment of the plot for Adarsh building.
The investigating agency had alleged that Gidwani used his "influential position" to show favour to the society.