Ashok Chavan named in Adarsh chargesheet

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed its first chargesheet in the Adarsh housing scam on Wednesday.

Zeenews Bureau

Mumbai: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed its first chargesheet in the Adarsh housing scam on Wednesday, 18 months after a case was registered in this connection.

The chargesheet includes big names and one of them being former Maharashtra chief Minister Ashok Chavan. The others include seven prominent Army officials and six bureaucrats.

The 10,000-page CBI charge sheet was filed before the Registrar of a sessions court, nearly 18 months after the agency registered a case.

The scam had fuelled a political storm in Maharashtra that led to the resignation of Ashok Chavan as chief minister.

Earlier in the day, the CBI informed the Bombay High Court, hearing a batch of public interest litigations seeking the court`s supervision of the probe, that it would be filing a charge sheet later in the day.

The CBI has registered a case on January 29 last year against Chavan and others which included bureaucrats and retired army personnel.

Earlier, testifying for the second time before the two-member commission probing the Adarsh housing scam, former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan on Monday blamed the then principal secretary (revenue) for not bringing details of the membership of the housing society to his notice.

The former Maharashtra chief minister while admitting that he did not read the document fully, blamed his predecessor Vilasrao Deshmukh, who headed the urban development department, for the condition in the letter that talked of allotment of 40 percent flats to civilians.

Chavan had to step down as chief minister after the scam surfaced in 2010. He was the revenue minister during Deshmukh`s first stint as Maharashtra chief minister between 1999 and 2003 during which permissions were granted for the construction of Adarsh society building.

The Adarsh scam involves a prime plot in South Mumbai`s Colaba on which a 31-storey building was constructed by the society.

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

The nine arrested accused are - RC Thakur, secretary of Adarsh, retired brigadier MM Wanchoo, 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 CBI failed to file charge sheet within the stipulated 60-day period after arrest.

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