Chavan admits to 'political patronage' in Adarsh scam

Chavan admits to 'political patronage' in Adarsh scam

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, with his back against the wall over the Adarsh scam report, on Thursday accepted that there was “political patronage”, but clarified that “no action would be taken or a separate FIR filed against politicians named in the case”.

Addressing a press conference here, the chief minister said: “The cabinet had initially rejected certain parts of the report, but later we reviewed the action taken report and carried out an in-depth study of it in the interest of the people and decided to form a committee to envisage further action.”

A two-member commission comprising retired judge J A Patil and former chief secretary P Subramanium, set up to investigate into the Adarsh Housing controversy, said in its report that “the scam reeked of greed, nepotism and favouritism” and those in authority set a “bad precedent” by twisting the law.

The report had indicted politicians, including former chief ministers Ashok Chavan, late Vilasrao Deshmukh, Sushilkumar Shinde and Shivajirao Nilangekar Patil and 12 bureaucrats for manipulating and twisting laws and regulations to usurp a plot that fell under the Coastal Regulation Zone II.

Chavan, while accepting the scathing conclusions of the report, ruled out any kind of action against politicians named in the case on the grounds that “the commission only accused politicians of patronage but did not charge them with any kind of criminality.”

He said the government has accepted quid pro quo charges against former chief minister Ashok Chavan, but in the same breath added that no action would be taken against Shinde, Nilangekar, Rajesh Tope and Sunil Tatkare.

“A departmental inquiry has been ordered to pin down people who helped in getting allotments to ineligible people. Legal action would be initiated against 25 ineligible members of the total 102 members of the society...cancellation notice to these ineligible owners will be sent soon,” he said.

Chavan pointed out that the CBI was already looking into the matter. “Since there cannot be two FIRs on the same issue and as the CBI has already filed its FIR, it would also be asked to prosecute people involved in 22 benami transactions unearthed by the commission... seven of them have been named as beneficiaries of a quid pro quo. The commission has also named 12 public servants who had acquired property illegally,” he added.

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