Maharahstra govt misled in allotting plot for Adarsh: CBI



Mumbai: Secretary of Adarsh Society RC Thakur among other accused had allegedly misled the Maharashtra government in 2002 in allotting a plot for the construction of the highrise, claiming that the local defence authorities had given the go-ahead.

This has been revealed by the CBI in its over 10,000-page chargesheet filed on July 4 against 13 accused in the case. The special CBI judge will start taking cognisance of the chargesheet on July 24.

As per the synopsis of the document, Thakur had requested the then chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh on May 21, 2000, to allot land in South Mumbai claiming that the defence authorities had granted permission for the residential tower, provided the society constructs a girls hostel for the children of Army officers serving in far-flung areas.

"In the said letter, it was falsely represented that the accused, including Thakur, had negotiated with the local military officials and got a green signal, provided a girls hostel is constructed for children of Army officers serving in far-flung areas," the chargesheet said.

Thakur in a February 2000 letter to the government had mentioned about the girls hostel.

The CBI said that the chief minister then forwarded Thakur's letter to the revenue department, which, on the basis of the letter, initiated the process of conducting a survey of the plot which could be allotted to the society.

The chargesheet also says that chief promoter and former Congress MLC Kanhaiyalal Gidwani played an "important role" in expediting the process for getting the allotment done.

Gidwani had written several letters to the CMO and other departments claiming that the flats would be constructed for the welfare of Army personnel.

On the role of Ashok Chavan, the summary mentions that the former chief minister 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.

The CBI had registered a case on January 29 last against Chavan and 13 others, including bureaucrats and retired army personnel.

The agency in March 2012 arrested nine out of the 14 accused after receiving a rap on its knuckles from the Bombay High Court for not initiating action against the accused persons.

The nine arrested accused are RC Thakur, secretary of Adarsh, retired brigadier MM Wanchoo and former Congress MLC Kanhaiyalal Gidwani, both promoters of the society, former deputy secretary of urban development department PV Deshmukh, IAS officers Ramanand Tiwari and Jairaj Phatak, retired major generals AR Kumar and TK Kaul and former city collector Pradeep Vyas.

They were released on bail by a special CBI court after the agency failed to file a chargesheet within the stipulated 60-day period after arrest.

The accused have been charged with criminal conspiracy, cheating and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

In its chargesheet, the CBI had said that Chavan also owns a 'benami' flat in the 31-storey tower in upscale Colaba area in South Mumbai.

The agency is probing 'benami' transactions relating to 24 of the 103 flats in Adarsh Society and has sought permission from the High Court to continue with the investigations.

The CBI had told the court that a probe is on to ascertain the actual owners of the 24 flats which the agency claims are owned by two members of the Society who were chargesheeted.

According to CBI sources, Thakur and Gidwani are in possession of eight flats each in Adarsh Society under 'benami' names.

PTI