‘Rane had sought status report of Adarsh plot’

Mumbai: Maharashtra Industries Minister Narayan Rane, during his tenure as the chief minister in September 1999, had sought a speedy inquiry and submission of a report into ownership and other details of the land where the controversial Adarsh Housing Society stands, a senior revenue official on Monday told a judicial panel.

Jagdish Gharat, deputy secretary of state Revenue and Forest department, while deposing before the two-member inquiry Commission, said the chief promoter of Adarsh society had on September 21, 1999 sent a letter to Rane seeking allotment of land.

"The then chief minister had referred the letter to the Revenue and Forests department with an endorsement made in hand writing saying 'submit report immediately'. The endorsement was made by Narayan Rane who was the CM then," he said.

Gharat added that the letter was sent by the revenue and forest department to the city collector, but no report was submitted back.

Collector Chandrashekhar Oak while deposing earlier before the Commission had said that former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, during his tenure in 2000, had shown "unusual interest" in seeking information on the status of the land in south Mumbai where the 31-storey building stands.

Deshmukh too while seeking information about the ownership of the land endorsed the file as "urgent/important" which according to Oak was an uncommon practice.

The CBI on Sunday examined Union Power Minister and former chief minister Sushil Kumar Shinde during whose tenure several clearances were given to the Society.

In January this year, the CBI had registered a case against 14 persons, including Ashok Chavan and some retired army officers and government officials, on charges of criminal conspiracy, fraud and misuse of official power.