15 Maharashtra bureaucrats face heat in Adarsh scam (Lead)

December 3rd, 2010 - 8:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Dec 3 (IANS) Toughening its stand, the Maharashtra government Friday slapped showcause notices on 15 bureaucrats, mostly IAS officers, who are members of the scam-hit Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society (ACHS), official sources said.

Notices have already been served on 11 civil servants, and the remaining four will be served soon, the official told IANS.

The prominent personalities targeted by the notices include former chief secretary D.K. Shankaran, two former urban development department officials, including secretary Ramanand Tiwari and deputy secretary P.V. Deshmukh, and former Mumbai municipal commissioner Jairaj Phatak.

Sent by Chief Secretary J.P. Dange, the notices give bureaucrats a week’s time to submit replies to the government.

Among other things, the bureaucrats have been asked to explain the circumstances under which they became members of the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society, their sources of funds for the luxurious flats in the 31-storey building constructed on a prime plot measuring nearly 6,500 sq m in the posh Colaba area of south Mumbai, and whether they had sought government permission before becoming members of the society, the official said.

The Adarsh CHS scam has claimed the job of former chief minister, Ashok Chavan, after allegations surfaced of collusion between bureaucrats and politicians to corner the prime property.

The Adarsh society shot into the limelight after three of Ashok Chavan’s relatives were found to have flats in the 31-storey block, originally meant for Kargil war widows and heroes.

Last month, the authorities cancelled the building’s occupation certificate and snapped off its water and power supplies.

Meanwhile, the state opposition is planning to raise the Adarsh housign scam in the ongoing winter session of the state legislature in Nagpur, in view of the four important documents missing from its files.

-qn/pg/vt

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