New Delhi: After Power Minister Sushil Kumar
Shinde, CBI, which is probing the Adarsh Housing Society scam,
will soon question another Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh in
connection with the approval to the multi-storyed complex in
Both Shinde and Deshmukh had, during their tenure as
Maharashtra Chief Ministers, dealt with files and passed
proposals pertaining to the 31-storeyed building in a posh
south Mumbai locality, which was granted permission after
allegedly flouting rules and regulations.
CBI sources said the statement of Deshmukh, Science
and Technology Minister, will be recorded soon.
Shinde was questioned on July 31 at his New Delhi
residence by a team of CBI officials during which he was shown
some files pertaining to the housing society.
CBI’s move comes after observations made by the Bombay
High Court while hearing a public interest litigation to treat
all suspects and persons involved in the scam equally.
The court had asked CBI not to get bogged down by big
personalities and treat everybody equally under law
irrespective of who they are.
During his tenure as Chief Minister, Deshmukh was also
heading the Urban Development Department and had given
approval to a proposal made by Adarsh Society seeking deletion
of an adjoining land reserved for BEST and change it to
Deshmukh had, however, refuted the allegation that undue
favor was shown to Adarsh Society and had told a two-member
inquiry commission, set up to probe to case, that the deletion
of reservation of the plot reserved for BEST and its
conversion to residential purposes was in accordance with law.
"Neither was any loss caused to the state exchequer nor
any favour was shown. The reservation was changed following
the procedure prescribed under MRTP. The interests of BEST was
protected," Deshmukh had said in his affidavit before the
CBI which was handed over the probe by the Defence
Ministry, had registered a case on January 29 against 14
persons, including former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok
Chavan, retired army officials and bureaucrats.
The agency has questioned over 100 witnesses in the case
and some of the accused, including former commissioner of BMC
Jairaj Phatak, Congress leader K L Gidwani, suspended state
Information Commissioner Ramanand Tiwari, former deputy
secretary of state Urban Development department P V Deshmukh
and Adarsh Society’s secretary R C Thakur.
The scam had triggered a political storm in the state
leading to the resignation of Ashok Chavan as Chief Minister.