CBI names Ashok Chavan in Adarsh FIR

CBI declined to disclose whether Chavan figures as an accused or is mentioned in the FIR otherwise.

Mumbai: The CBI on Saturday registered an FIR in
the Adarsh housing society scam naming three senior retired
Army officers, an ex-Collector and 10 others among the 13
accused and mentioning former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok
Chavan in it.

CBI declined to disclose whether Chavan, who had to
resign in the wake of the scandal, figures as an accused or is
mentioned in the FIR otherwise. Some sources in the agency
maintained he was among the accused but this was not
officially confirmed.
The FIR, which was registered in the designated court of
CBI today, was handed over to special judge M R Aglawe in a
sealed envelope here this afternoon.

In a sketchy press note, CBI said the agency registered
a case related to Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society under
various sections of IPC including criminal conspiracy,
cheating, forgery and showing forged document as genuine
besides sections pertaining to Prevention of Corruption Act.

"After completion of preliminary enquiry, case has been
registered against 13 accused persons belonging to Army, DEO
(Defence Estate Office), Government of Maharashtra, public
servants and unknown persons," the CBI said in a statement.

The CBI sources claimed that general secretary of the
society R C Thakur, former Brigadier M M Wanchoo and Congress
leader K L Gidwani were allegedly the main conspirators in
building the society illegally.

Chavan had to quit as chief minister last year after it
was found that among the members of the Adarsh society were
his late mother in law and sister in law.

Chavan was Revenue Minister between 2001-2003 and he had
dealt with files pertaining to the ownership of the land. He
is alleged to have recommended 40 per cent allotment of flats
to civilians in the Adarsh Housing Society, which was meant
for war widows and heroes of Kargil war.

The FIR also named Pradeep Vyas, the then collector of
Mumbai between 2002-2005 who is alleged to have ratified 71
persons in the society of which several were ineligible
members. His wife Seema Vyas is alleged to have a flat in the

The case was registered after the CBI last week received
flak from the Bombay High Court for its tardy probe in the

The CBI FIR names former Major General A R Kumar and
Brigadier (retd) R C Sharma for allegedly giving a No
Objection Certificate for allegedly claiming that the land did
not belong to the Defence Ministry.

The agency had registered a preliminary enquiry into
the scam in November last year.
The decision to register a case was taken after seeking
a legal opinion on the evidence which had favoured registering
of a case against some people for allegedly forging the
documents and abusing official position.

During hearing of a petition in the Adarsh case, a
division bench of Justices B H Marlapalle and U D Salvi had
asked CBI why it had not registered the case.

"It has been more than two months since CBI has been
conducting a preliminary inquiry into the case. Why have you
(CBI) not registered FIR as yet?," it had asked.

Two former army chiefs Gen Deepak Kapoor and Gen N C Vij
and ex-navy chief Admiral Madhavendra Singh owned flats in the
scam-hit society building in upscale Colaba. However, the
former top chiefs have claimed that they have now surrendered
the flats.

The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests had on
January 16 ordered demolition of the building within three
months, holding it as "unauthorised" and built in violation of
the spirit of coastal regulations.

Apart from violating the CRZ norms, the society is
alleged to have got clearances from various authorities
through dubious means.

The plush housing society, built on prime defence land
has been constructed in alleged violation of rules. The
building was originally meant to be a six-storey structure to
house Kargil war heroes and their kin but was later extended
to 31 floors without mandatory permission.