Adarsh Society land belongs to Maharashtra government: Shinde

May 26th, 2011 - 6:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, May 26 (IANS) Union Energy Minister and former Maharashra chief minister Sushilkumar Shinde Thursday said the land on which the controversial Adarsh Society building stands belongs to the state government and had never been given to the defence ministry or for housing Kargil war heroes.

“The plot where Adarsh (Soceity) stands is owned by the State of Maharashtra. The plot was not reserved for defence personnel or Kargil war heroes,” Shinde stated in a detailed affidavit filed before a government-appointed panel probing the scam.

Shinde - who was the chief minister when files pertaining to the society were processed - also said that all the allegations leveled against him in the matter are false.

The affidavit came in response to a summons issued May 2 by the two-member commission that is probing the Adarsh Society scam. It asked Shinde to appear before it as a witness in the investigation.

The minister said the land was allotted to the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society only after a proper scrutiny of all the records and following the norms.

“The letter of intent, dated Jan 18, 2003, made it clear that the land was allotted according to a GR (Government Resolution) of July 1999, which did not provide reservation for war heroes,” he added in the affidavit.

Dismissing allegations of receiving favour from the society, Shinde asserted that due process of the law was followed and proper verification was done by several state government officials before permission was granted to the 31-storeyed high-rise tower in south Mumbai.

“During my tenure as CM (chief minister) from May 2003 till November 2004, I did not get any complaint about any alleged irregularity in allotment of the land to Adarsh Society,” Shinde noted in the affidavit.

Former chief minister Ashok Chavan, who was the revenue minister between 2001-2003, had sent a proposal to the then chief minister Shinde, recommending that 40 percent of the flats in the building be allotted to civilians.

Chavan, who was also directed to file his affidavit, sought an extension till June 13, which was granted by the commission.

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

They include, besides Shinde, Union Minister and former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, state Congress leader Kanhaiyalal Gidwani, and several top officials including R.C. Thakur, Ramanand Tiwari, Pradeep Vyas and P.V. Deshmukh.

Some of the persons summoned are those whose names figure in the Central Bureau of Investigation FIR filed in January.

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