Mumbai: Armymen were `paraded` before the erstwhile Maharashtra Chief Ministers Vilasrao Deshmukh and Sushilkumar Shinde by promoters of Adarsh Housing Society to convince them that the building was meant for defence personnel, a senior Army officer has told the judicial commission probing the Adarsh scam.
"Persons like me were asked to parade in uniform before Shinde and (later) Deshmukh by Adarsh promoters Kanhaiyalal Gidwani, Brigadier M Wanchoo and R C Thakur, to give them an impression that the Society was being formed for the welfare of defence personnel," John Mathew, Commanding Officer of National Cadet Corps (NCC), said before the panel yesterday.
Mathew`s statement assumes significance in view of the allegation that concessions were obtained from the state and civic authorities on the ground that the building was meant for defence personnel.
To a question by Bharat Zhaveri, Commission`s counsel, Mathew said he was allotted a two-bedroom hall flat in the Society although he had applied for a three-bedroom hall flat. He admitted to have conveyed his displeasure to the Society secretary over this.
Mathew further said he had also conveyed that denying him a bigger flat would send a wrong signal that there was a systematic effort to ignore bonafide defence personnel in whose name the formation of Society had been cleared by the Maharashtra Government.
To another question, Mathew said he had taken exception to an agreement between Gidwani, Thakur and Wanchoo regarding the respective proportion of civilian members and defence personnel in the Society.
The Adarsh Society building is accused to have come up in a posh south Mumbai area in violation of many environmental and civic rules.