Adarsh scam: Shinde summoned as witness

May 2nd, 2011 - 10:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, May 2 (IANS) A government-appointed panel probing the Adarsh Housing Society scam has summoned Union Minister of Power Sushilkumar Shinde to depose before it as a witness, an official said Monday.

Shinde was Maharashtra chief minister at the time when files relating to the Adarsh Society were processed in Mantralaya, the state government headquarters.

Ashok Chavan, who was the revenue minister between 2001-2003, had sent a proposal to Shinde recommending that 40 percent of the building’s flats, originally meant for Kargil heroes and war personnel, be allotted to civilians.

No date has been fixed for recording of Shinde’s statement.

The two-member commission, headed by former Bombay High Court chief justice J.A. Patil and former Maharashtra chief secretary P. Subramaniam, appointed in January this year, has also summoned several other prominent personalities as witnesses.

They include Congress leader Kanhaiyalal Gidwani, and officials R.C. Thakur, Ramanand Tiwari, Pradeep Vyas and P.V. Deshmukh, whose names also figure in the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) first information report (FIR) filed in January this year.

The Patil-Subramaniam Commission also started recording evidence of a witness, Brigadier Deepak Saxena.

Meanwhile, one of the petitioners in the Adarsh Society, former bureaucrat and lawyer Y.P. Singh said that his client Simpreet Singh has still not been summoned as witness by the commission.

“My client Simpreet Singh has already filed a detailed affidavit with the commission and we hope that they will summon us at a later stage,” Singh told IANS.

Meanwhile, the ongoing hearing in the Bombay High Court pertaining to the demolition order against the Adarsh Society by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, has been postponed till June 27.

The 31-storey Adarsh Housing Society apartment block in south Mumbai’s Colaba area was meant for Kargil heroes and war widows, but flats were given to bureaucrats, relatives of politicians and former army and navy chiefs. It was also built flouting environmental norms, say experts.

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