Adarsh scam: Former IAS officer Subhash Lalla resigns

Mumbai: Former IAS officer Subhash Lalla, whose kin own flats in the scam-hit Adarsh Housing Society in south Mumbai, today resigned as a member of Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission.
     
Lalla met Governor K Sankaranarayanan at Raj Bhavan this morning and submitted his resignation.
     
"The Governor has accepted Lalla's resignation," a Raj Bhavan spokesperson said.
     
Lalla, who was secretary in the Chief Minister's Office when the Housing Society's file was being processed in the state secretariat, is the first bureaucrat to resign for his alleged involvement in the Adarsh scam.
     
Ashok Chavan was forced to quit as Chief Minister last year after it was revealed that his kin including late mother-in-law, owned flats in the Adarsh society.
     
Earlier, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had declined to comment on reports that the state government had asked former bureaucrats Ramanand Tiwari and Lalla to step down over their alleged involvement in the housing scam,.
     
"Chief Secretary was asked to meet the two officers to elicit certain information (on Adarsh scam). I will not comment further," Chavan had said last week.
     
Tiwari, former Urban Development Secretary, is the State Information Commissioner.

Lalla, in his resignation letter, said he had resigned to maintain dignity of the Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission.
     
He said the resignation is voluntarily to avoid further embarrassment to the Government or to himself and there was no feeling of guilt or wrongdoing associated with the decision.
     
He said his name had been "unfortunately" and "unfairly" linked to the Adarsh scam.
     
He maintained that he had no role in the purchase of flats in the Society.
     
Lalla said membership of his relatives in the Society was much prior to his coming to the secretariat (Mantralaya) in 2000 which is due to his father, who was a defence personnel.
    
"My father late Shaligram Lalla, who worked in Military Engineering Services retired in Kamptee Cantonment in Nagpur district and continued to stay there during his post-retirement period.
     
"RC Thakur, the chief promoter of Adarsh Co-Operative Housing Society was my father's neighbour. Because of good social relationship between them, my father was taken as a member of Adarsh Co-Operative Housing Society which was originally meant for defence and defence allied personnel and their families," he said.
     
"After my father's death, the membership was given to my mother Sushila Shaligram. My daughter was inducted as a member as there were some vacancies available during that initial period of society formation because of relation with defence personnel. My mother has been a member of this society since July 1998 and my daughter since April 1999."
    
"I was posted in Mantralaya for the first time in mid-2000 as a Secretary to the Social Justice Department and to Chief Minister's office much later in 2004," Lalla said.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan met the Governor at Raj Bhavan.
       
Details of the meeting were not known but Raj Bhavan sources said the Adarsh issue may have come up for discussion.
       
Shiv Sena group leader in State Assembly Subhash Desai said State Information Commissioner Ramanand Tiwari should also step down from his post, over his alleged involvement in the Adarsh scam.