2 ex-CMs summoned in Adarsh probe

2 ex-CMs summoned in Adarsh probe

The two-member judicial commission looking into the Adarsh housing scam, on Wednesday subpoenaed two former Maharashtra chief ministers for hearings scheduled next month.

The panel comprising former Bombay High Court Judge J A Patil and former state chief secretary P Subramanian has asked senior Congress leaders and former CMs Vilasrao Deshmukh and Sushil Kumar Shinde to present themselves before the commission on June 25 and 26.

While hearing the submission of another former chief minister Ashok Chavan seeking exemption from personal appearance, the commission reserved its ruling on ‘absence’. Chavan is one of the key figures in the scam which surfaced in October 2010.

Following the allegations, Chavan resigned from the post. However, two years of investigation into the scam has not brought him out from the turbulence of Adarsh scam storm.

Last month, in its interim report, the commission which has the primary aim of establishing the ownership of the plot on which the contentious skyscraper has been built, submitted that the land ‘belonged to the state and was not reserved for Kargil war heroes or widows.’ The CBI which is carrying out a parallel probe, has already registered FIR against 15 persons for alleged manipulation of records and regulations.

The controversy has lassoed several politicians, including former chief ministers Vilasrao Deshmukh, Sushil Kumar Shinde and Ashok Chavan, on charges ranging from conspiracy, misuse of power and manipulation of land documents to grab the plot.

Land grab

The furore gained momentum when it was alleged that the plot was reserved for Kargil war heroes and widows and it was not just politicians who were involved in land grab, but also high-ranking retired army officials and bureaucrats. Then Chief Minister Ashok Chavan had to step down when it was alleged that his relatives had also purchased apartments.

The furore in the State Assembly in January 2011 forced the government to set up a two-member judicial commission to look into the allegations stating that the land belonged to the Defence Ministry and that the building was constructed violating civic and environmental regulations.

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