Raid on ex-commissioner in Adarsh scam

 Phatak was the Mumbai municipal commissioner and the chairman of the corporation’s high rise committee when the Adarsh building was cleared to increase its height in 2007.

Although no concrete evidence has been found to implicate Phatak in the scandal, the former commissioner’s son Kanishka was given a flat in the swanky Adarsh apartments, situated in south Mumbai’s Colaba area. The flat’s current market price could be anywhere between Rs 7 crore to Rs 9 crore.

Phatak has already denied any connection between clearance of the building’s height and his son having a flat in the Society.

The CBI teams conducted searches at Phatak’s residence on Marine Drive along with his official residence in New Delhi and yet another house in Pune.

Promoters of the Adarsh society had initially stated that the society, meant to be a six-storey structure, was to house Kargil war heroes and their kin, but later denied that it was reserved for them.

The building’s height was later extended to 31 floors without mandatory permission and 40 per cent of membership was given to civilians.

Among the flat owners are three relatives of former chief minister Ashok Chavan, who is named as one of the 13 accused by the CBI in the FIR registered on January 29.

The CBI had raided society’s chairman Brigadier (retd) Madanmohan  Wanchu, promoter politician Kannaihalal Gidwani and former bureaucrat Ramanand Tiwari. The agency had sought the Centre’s permission to move against Phatak, who is a serving IAS officer on deputation to the Centre in the Union Power Ministry.

As soon as the CBI secured permission on Monday, its teams raided Phatak’s houses. The agency is also likely to interrogate Phatak, who has been accused of misusing his position to grant Adarsh Society permission to increase the height.

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