Adarsh probe: Maha govt officials rapped for "casual" approach

Many government departments including MMRDA, Revenue and Forest, BMC, Home, Environment Ministry, PWD and Urban Land department were issued summons directing them to produce before the commission today all documents pertaining to the scam-hit Adarsh Society.

However, except BMC, all the departments sought one week's time to submit all the files along with an index. "How much time does it take to bring files. The state government officials should be responsible and not casual in their approach. They are forgetting that they are giving evidence to a court," Retired high court judge Justice J A Patil, who is heading the commission, said in its inaugural hearing in the case.

The commission has now directed the government departments to submit all the files within a week. The commission, which was set up in January by the state government, was expected to submit its report within three months. However, due to logistical glitches, the commission began its work from February and hence sought extension of three more months. It is now expected to submit its report by June 7.

The panel was constituted to look into the matter of land ownership of Adarsh Society, if the land was reserved for Kargil war martyrs, reservation of flats, expansion of adjoining road, change in reservation of the BEST plot, alleged role of bureaucrats and violations of CRZ norms.

The commission's probe would run parallel to the inquiry by the CBI, which has registered a case against 13 persons, including former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, for alleged criminal conspiracy, fraud and misuse of official powers. The Society was built on a prime piece of land, allegedly belonging to the Defence Ministry. It was originally meant to be a six-storey structure, but later it got permission - against rules - to build 31 floors.

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