Adarsh Housing Society members want ED to close its case

Residents of Adarsh Housing Society want ED to close its probe.

Mumbai: A week after approaching Defence Ministry and CBI seeking quashing of the FIR filed in the Adarsh Housing Society scam, residents of the controversial high rise now want Enforcement Directorate to close its probe.

Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society members today shot off a letter to ED seeking closure of the inquiry initiated by it, citing the report of a Maharashtra Government-appointed judicial commission which is probing the scam.

The two-member panel, in its interim report submitted in April, has concluded that the land in south Mumbai, where the plush 31-storey Adarsh building stands, belonged to the State Government and not Defence Ministry.

Besides the commission, CBI is also inquiring into the case. CBI is looking into irregularities in allotment of the land to the society and involvement of bureaucrats and politicians, while ED is investigating the source of money used to buy the flats and if the property was "proceeds of crime and tainted".

"In view of the report submitted by the judicial panel it is clear that the land belongs to Maharashtra Government and the Government was well within its rights to allot the land to a co-operative society for development," said the letter addressed to ED Director Rajan Katoch and Assistant Director in Mumbai N P Khutal said.

The letter, written by advocates Manish Desai and Saket Mone, further stated that since the land is owned by the Government, "it cannot come in the purview of proceeds of crime and is not a tainted property".

"The ECIR (case report) lodged by ED on March 5 goes on the premise that the property was a tainted property. But the findings of the judicial panel after examination of several witnesses strikes down this premise," the letter said.

The society had on June 9 sent a letter to Defence Ministry and CBI seeking quashing of the FIR registered in January last year. CBI had filed FIR against 14 persons, including former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, and bureaucrats.

The agency is yet to file a chargesheet.