M'rashtra rejects Adarsh scam report

M'rashtra rejects Adarsh scam report

M'rashtra rejects Adarsh scam report

The Maharashtra government on Friday tabled the quasi-judicial commission report on Adarsh Housing scam in the Assembly and also rejected it. The report has arraigned politicians including three former chief ministers for ‘brazen violations and manipulations of rules and regulations.’

 The two-member commission comprising retired judge J A Patil and former chief secretary P Subrahmanium, in the report described the scam reeking of ‘greed, nepotism and favouritism’. The report added that those in authority twisted laws and have set a ‘bad precedent’.

The report was submitted to the state government on April 18. Earlier, this week the government gave an assurance to the Bombay High Court that it will table the report in the winter session of the Assembly which came to an end on Friday. Soon after the tabling of the report, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan in a chat with the media: “The decision to reject the findings of the inquiry commission was taken by the Cabinet in the interest of the people.”

Interestingly, the cabinet accepted the first part observing that the primary ownership of the plot on which the contentious building was constructed lay with the state government and that there was no plan whatsoever to construct any kind of building for Kargil war veterans or war widows.

However, the part which charged politicians including those from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and bureaucrats for transgressing rules and regulations to obtain required permissions was rejected outright.

On the issue of political patronage, the report states that the society enjoyed backing of former chief ministers, late Vilasrao Deshmukh, Sushil Kumar Shinde and Ashok Chavan, former revenue minister Shivajirao-Nilangekar Patil, former ministers for urban development Sunil Tatkare and Rajesh Tope.

Incidentally, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) carrying out a parallel probe into the scam, early this week received a jolt after Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan turned the investigating agency’s request to prosecute Ashok Chavan, the only chief minister charge-sheeted in the scandal. Chavan incidentally had to step down after the scam broke out in October 2010.

 The commission while indicting bureaucrats, politicians also asked the state government to institute an inquiry into the ownership of ‘benami’ (proxy ownership) purchases of apartments which belong to politicians from different political parties.

The commission, incidentally, in its probe has come to conclusion that of the society’s 102 members, there are 22 cases of ‘benami’ purchases and 25 other owners do not have requisite qualification as prescribed by the society’s own formation laws.

Those found ineligible for ownership of flats included former Maharashtra Assembly speaker Babasaheb Kupekar of the NCP, former Shiv Sena MP Suresh Prabhu and three relatives of former chief minister Ashok Chavan.