Adarsh scam: CBI may question ex-BMC commissioner

CBI is likely to question senior IAS officer Jairaj Phatak next week.

Updated: May 22, 2011, 16:14 PM IST

Mumbai: CBI, which is probing the Adarsh
Housing Society scam, is likely to question senior IAS officer
Jairaj Phatak, one of the 13 accused in the case, next week.

Phatak, a 1978 batch IAS officer of Maharashtra cadre,
was the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)commissioner
and was chairing the high-rise committee, when some of the
permissions were granted to the Adarsh Society.

"Almost 50 per cent of the investigations are over. We
have gathered enough documents and records of the Society,
which need to be scrutinised further. Phatak would be summoned
anytime next week for questioning," a senior CBI official
said.

Terming it as a normal procedure, the official said that
all the accused would be questioned before the chargesheet was
filed.

The FIR registered by CBI on January 29 this year says
that Phatak, as the BMC commissioner, had approved the
proposal to increase the building`s height from 97 metres to
100.7 metres, on September 1, 2007.

The society is accused of obtaining a host of
concessions, in breach of the local laws and Coastal
Regulation Zone norms.

Phatak was the head of the committee for high-rise
buildings, and CBI claims he did not seek opinion of other
members of the committee when Adarsh`s proposal came up.
Phatak`s son, Kanishka, was allotted a flat in Adarsh in
return for such favours, CBI says.

Phatak, at present an Additional Secretary in the Union
Power Ministry, has refuted the allegations saying that he was
not posted with the BMC when his son was allotted a flat.

"The high-rise committee of the civic body had already
approved the building`s height at 103 metres earlier. Hence
when I gave my approval for 100.7 metres, I did not feel the
need to refer the matter to the committee again," Phatak
argued when talking to reporters in March this year.

CBI has so far questioned, among others, Adarsh`s chief
promoter and secretary R C Thakur, retired army officer M M
Wanchoo and Congress leader K L Gidwani. Former Maharashtra
Chief Minister, Ashok Chavan, too is one of the accused.

PTI