Mumbai: Maharashtra Rural Development Minister Jayant Patil on Thursday sought to deflect the responsibility for allotment and valuation of land on which the scam-tainted Adarsh building stands on departments of Town Planning and Revenue.
"Grant of government land to any co-operative housing society is the prerogative of the Revenue Department. The valuation of the land is done by the Director, Town Planning. The finance minister and department only gives its concurrence to the valuation," Patil said in his deposition before the two-member judicial panel probing the multi-crore scam.
Patil was finance minister from October 1999 to December 2008 when the state government had allotted land in South Mumbai to the high rise. Former chief minister Ashok Chavan was the then revenue minister.
"The authority to determine the value of a government land is the Director of Town Planning. There is no independent machinery in the finance department to ascertain whether the valuation made by the said authority is correct or not. The Finance Ministry simply acts on the valuation report submitted by the authority," Patil said.
The minister further said the valuation report of the director of town planning first goes to the revenue department and after their approval the file, along with the report, is sent to the finance department.
"In case of Adarsh, the valuation which was done by the authority was suggested by the revenue department," Patil said.