Mumbai: Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, an accused in the multi-crore Adarsh scam, returned Rs 69 lakh, allegedly received by him from his "close aide" Jayant Shah to purchase flats for his relatives at the highrise, soon after the scandal was unearthed and a PIL was filed in the Bombay High Court in 2010.
This has been revealed by CBI in its over 10,000-page chargesheet filed earlier this month against Chavan and 12 others in the case.
The synopsis of the document mentions that Chavan had received Rs 70 lakh from Malav, son of his close confidant and builder Jayant Shah, as payment towards purchasing the flats for Chavan`s relatives in the 31-storey building in South Mumbai.
"Out of the said amount, Rs 55 lakh and Rs 14 lakh were returned by Chavan after a PIL was filed on November 19, 2010, seeking direction to the Income Tax department and Enforcement Directorate to look into transactions and mode of payment made by members to purchase flats in the society," the chargesheet reads.
Chavan`s mother-in-law Bhagvati Sharma and his father-in- law`s brother Madanlal Milkhiram Sharma owned flats in the tower.
As per the chargesheet, Chavan misused his official position twice?- first as revenue minister and then as chief minister?- to show undue favour to the society.
The 74-page synopsis states that Chavan, during his tenure as revenue minister in 2000, had met with the society`s secretary RC Thakur and promoter brigadier (retired) MM Wanchoo along with former Congress MLC Kanhaiyalal Gidwani.
"Soon after the meeting, Chavan made a proposal to include 40 per cent civilians as members of the society, which is evident through a letter submitted by the minister to the society," the CBI pointed out in the document.
Chavan had sought inclusion of civilian members for obtaining favours for his close relatives. His sister-in-law Seema Sharma had also made an application to become a member of the society but it was not approved, the summary of the chargesheet said.
The synopsis accessed by the media through lawyers states,
"Chavan as chief minister in 2009 proposed that his mother-in-law Bhagvati Sharma and father-in-law`s brother Madanlal Sharma be made members (of the society). Madanlal was not entitled to be allotted a flat as he already owned a flat in Andheri."
The special CBI court is yet to take cognisance of the chargesheet.
All accused named in the chargesheet have been charged for criminal conspiracy, cheating and criminal misconduct under sections 120(B) and 420 of Indian Penal Code and section 13(1) (d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The CBI has examined 150 witnesses and attached as many as 161 documents from various departments as evidence.