Adarsh scam: Chavan for amending laws protecting IAS officers

Informing about the efforts of the state government in probing the Adarsh housing society scam, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Tuesday expressed the need to review provisions.

Mumbai: Informing about the efforts of the state government in probing the Adarsh housing society
scam, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Tuesday expressed the
need to review provisions in the Constitution that provide
protection to IAS officials from taking any action against
them.

"The IAS officials are protected by article 311 of the
Constitution and it is difficult to take immediate action
against them. Therefore some amendments need to be done in the
article," Chavan told the legislative Council while replying
to a discussion on Adarsh society.

The state government has taken action against two
officials who were not protected by the Constitution, Chavan
said.

On progress of the probe, Chavan said prima facie, 21
officials are connected with the case for either taking some
decision about the society or owning a flat in the building.

"The CBI has named 14 accused of which seven are
defence officials, two people`s representatives, one a Central
government official and one a retired state official," Chavan
said.

The chief minister said that a two-member commission
appointed to enquire into irregularities in controversial
Adarsh housing society may take more time to submit its final
findings.

"The commission appointed on January 8 had three
months` time to complete the probe.

However, it seems that the commission would take more
time, Chavan told the Council while replying to a discussion
on Adarsh society.

The state government, under the Commission of Enquiry
Act, appointed a two-member commission comprising of retired
Bombay HC judge JA Patil and former Maharashtra chief
secretary P Subramhaniam.

The chief minister refuted all the allegations by the
Opposition members that the Commission is not provided with
any office and salary.

"The Commission has been provided with an office in
the Old Customs House and also a court room as demanded by
them apart from an ex gratia of Rs 1.60 lakh and a provision
of Rs 65 lakh being made for it," Chavan said.

Replying to the charges of "moral turpitude" levelled
by the Opposition, the chief minister said that no one should
give lessons to Congress on the issue of morality.

"Congress party`s four chief ministers resigned on the
grounds of morality. The courts of law had not even passed
strictures against some of them. The party has legacy of
morality and no one should teach us that," Chavan said.

Chavan said CBI kept former Prime Minister AB
Vajpayee on the list of the accused besides naming leaders
like Lal Krishna Advani, Murali Manohar Joshi in various
cases.

One cannot be termed as culprit merely because the CBI
has named him but it has to be proved in court, he said.

The chief minister said that his statement in Nanded
`backing` Congress party workers and MLAs, including former
chief minister Ashok Chavan, who is an accused in the Adarsh
Housing Society scam, would not affect the CBI probe.

"The Congress MLAs brought to my notice pending works
in their respective constituencies and I promised to help them
out. How could this statement affect the CBI probe," Chavan
said.

PTI

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