Mumbai: The Maharashtra Government has clarified that land allotted for the controversial Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society in Mumbai and meant for dependants of armed forces martyrs and ex-servicemen, belongs to it and not to the Indian Army or the office of the military estate.
Standing Counsel for the Government of Maharashtra Dipen Merchant disclosed this at Tuesday's hearing by the Commission of Inquiry regarding the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society.
"The Commission has come to the conclusion on the basis two things, one is the evidence led by MoD (Ministry of Defence) and also the evidence led by the Government of Maharashtra, and on the basis of documents produced by all parties before the Commission, the Commission has come to a conclusion that the land belongs to the state government," Merchant said.
Commenting on these developments, former chief minister Ashok Chavan lauded the government for probing the landownership issue.
"I am satisfied with the report which has been tabled in the assembly, the findings of the Justice Patil Commission which has been constituted by the state government to inquire into the Adarsh Housing Society issue. First of all, the most important issue which has been revealed today, the two important points are that the state government had asked for an interim report, one is whether the land belongs to state government, number one, and secondly, it was reserved for the housing of Kargil martyrs. I think this report is the final report on the first two issues. The other issues are yet to be tabled," Chavan said.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai listed several other aspects that the Adarsh scam needs thorough a probe with proper clarification.
"Clarification has been offered on only two issues in the report on the Adarsh Housing Society scam by the state government. Apart from these, there are other important issues that need to be addressed immediately," he said
"We need to know how additional floors were constructed in the housing complex and the number of flats was increased from original 30 to over 100 now. We also need to know that how these flats were allotted to non-resident Indians (NRIs) and how no objection certificates were offered to them. A clarification is also needed on the involvement of senior government officers and other public figures in the entire scam," he added.
The Adarsh scam claimed its first victim in the form of Ashok Chavan, who was forced to resign after reports surfaced that his kin owned flats in the society.
After Chavan, top bureaucrats too faced the axe, most notably among them being Maharashtra's Chief Information Commissioner Ramanand Tiwari and Human Rights Commissioner Subhash K Lalla.
The 31-storey Adarsh Housing Society, originally meant for Kargil war heroes, landed in controversy after media reports said that several politicians, bureaucrats and defence personnel owned flats there.