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Adarsh housing society scam: panel report slams former chief minister Ashok Chavan

Adarsh housing society scam: panel report slams former chief minister Ashok Chavan
Mumbai "Adarsh not a saga of ideal cooperation but a shameless tale of blatant violations of statutory provisions, rules and regulations. It reflects greed, nepotism and favoritism on the part of some people."

That's how the judicial commission on the infamous Adarsh housing society scam has summed up its report.

The Maharashtra cabinet began the day by rejecting the report. Hours later when the report became public it became clear why. Former chief minister and Congress leader Ashok Chavan, who had stepped down after the scam rocked the state, had been slammed and indicted. The report said Chavan and other bureaucrats gave permissions and clearances and it was a quid pro quo. It named Chavan's three relatives and found them ineligible along with 25 other members of 102. The report also said Adarsh enjoyed the political patronage of Late Vilasrao Deshmukh, Sushil Kumar Shinde, Chavan, Sunil Tatkare and Rajesh Tope.

The 690-page report also said that Mr Shinde (now union Home Minister) showed "undue haste" and overlooked objections raised by the Finance Department with regards to the allotment of land for the society.

The report was submitted to the Maharashtra government in April but the government refused to table it in the assembly. The BJP then moved the Bombay High Court which is when the government orally assured they would do so in the winter session. But it was deliberately kept for the last day, sources reveal, so as to escape a debate in the winter session in Nagpur. When the session began, the Opposition staged a walkout demanding a discussion.

The commission also found that 22 'benami' transactions took place and the society never sought any environmental clearances. It also named 12 bureaucrats and said they had violated service conduct rules.

However, what went in favour for the Congress-led government was the fact that the commission ruled that the land belonged to the state and not the defence ministry as claimed. Also, there were no reservations for Kargil war widows or heroes or defence personnel.

The case however finds itself in a bind. The CBI, which has chargesheeted 13 people including Chavan on one hand claims they have enough evidence, but on the other, just a few days ago when they sought permission from the Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan to prosecute the Congress leader, it was denied.

Now, the commission too had slammed the same key persons. But the Maharashtra government has chosen to look the other way.
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