No grain of truth in 690-page scam report?

Nagpur : The Maharashtra Government has rejected the report of the Adarsh judicial commission, which has indicted several politicians, including four former Congress Chief Ministers, for “blatant violations” of statutory pro-visions while allocating flats meant for war widows to powerful people at throw away prices.

No grain of truth in 690-page scam report?

The commission has said that the scam enjoyed the political patronage of 4 former Congress chief ministers — the late Vilasrao Deshmukh, Ashok Chavan, Sushil Kumar Shinde, who is now the Union home minister, and Shivajirao Nilangekar. Two NCP leaders, Sunil Tatkare and Rajesh Tope, also allegedly abetted the scam in the 31-storey tower.

The report has highlighted that 25 of the housing society’s 102 members were ineligible for flats. The most prominent among these illegible flat owners was the Indian diplomat currently in the eye of the storm, Devyani Khobragade.

The 25 beneficiaries included politicians across the spectrum and their relatives. These included former Maharashtra Assembly speaker Babasaheb Kupekar of the NCP and former Shiv Sena MP Suresh Prabhu. They have been indicted for quid pro quo while granting various permissions to the society in exchange of flats in the society.

The report also unearthed 22 cases of ‘benami’ flats, which were purchased in the names of relatives. These included nine flats financed by a company owned by Abhay Sancheti, brother of a BJP MP.

The commission also indicted 12 bureaucrats, including former secretary to chief minister Subhash Lalla, former urban development secretary Ramanand Tiwari and former chief secretary DK Sankaran for violation of service conduct rules.

The report deals with 11 terms of reference largely revolving around the lega-lity of the sanctions given to the 31-storey tower and the role of bureaucrats and politicians in this. In this context, the inquiry panel says, “The procedure for membership in the society was arbitrary, lacked transparency and gave scope to nepotism.”

The report has especially former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan for granting clearances to the Adarsh housing society in exchange for flats for three of his relatives. Chavan was forced to step down in 2010 after his name cropped up in the scam.

ADARSH SAGA

  • Scam enjoyed political patronage of 4 former Congress CMs — the late Vilasrao Deshmukh, Ashok Chavan, Sushil Kumar Shinde and Shivajirao Nilangekar.
  • Also indicted are NCP leaders Sunil Tatkare and Rajesh Tope.
  • 25 of the housing society’s 102 members were ineligible for flats.
  • Most prominent among the ineligible flat owners was Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade.
  • The 25 beneficiaries included politicians across the spectrum and their kin.
  • Among beneficiaries were former speaker Babasaheb Kupekar of NCP and former Sena MP Suresh Prabhu.
  • Report also unearths 22 cases  of ‘benami’ flats.
  • Benami flats included nine flats financed by a company owned by Abhay Sancheti, brother of a BJP MP.
  • 12 bureaucrats also indicted, including former secretary to chief minister
  • Subhash Lalla, former urban development secretary Ramanand Tiwari and former chief secretary DK Sankaran.

It is alleged that Chavan had increased the floor space index of the Adarsh society in return for flats for his relatives. Chavan had also asked the housing society to take 40 per cent members from the civilian category, even though it was originally meant only for war veterans.

Chavan’s mother-in-law Bhagvati Sharma, sister-in-law Seema Sharma and father-in-law’s brother, Madanlal Sharma, have flats in the society. All of them have been held ineligible by the judicial panel.

“Evidence clearly indicates that it is neither ideal (Adarsh) nor a role model but a bad precedent. Adarsh is not a saga of ideal co-operation but it is a shameless tale of blatant violations of statutory provisions, rule and regulations,” the report said.

It expressed “deep regret” over the “greed, nepotism and favoritism” involved in the scam. The 2-member commission was headed by retired high court judge J A Patil.

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