Adarsh society scam: CBI raids officials named in FIR

New Delhi: A day after the CBI filed its FIR in the Adarsh Society scam, in which former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan was named along with 12 others, the agency today conducted raids at the residences of five of the accused.

The CBI raided the premises of R C Thakur, the Chief Promoter of the society and a former Defence Estates officer, Brigadier (retired) M M Wanchu, President of Adarsh Society, Kanhaiyalal Gidwani, Ex Congress MLC and Co-Promoter of Adarsh Society, Ramanand Tiwari, former Principal Secretary of the Urban Development Department, and former Deputy Secretary P V Deshmukh.

The raids were conducted across Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Nagpur and even Madhubani in Bihar.

The CBI says incriminating documents have been seized during these raids. Files, laptops and computer hard disks have been seized by the officials at various places where the raids were conducted. Kanhaiyalal Gidwani has also been questioned, they add.

"They have collected some documents and have questioned...I will continue to cooperate," said Gidwani.

The CBI had named these individuals as the main conspirators in the case in its FIR.

According to the CBI, R C Thakur was instrumental in making the claim that the land on which the Adarsh society was finally built was state government land which the army had illegally occupied.

The CBI says Kanhaiyalal Gidwani helped use the Kargil rhetoric to push for clearances with the state government and change land rules to favour Adarsh. Brigadier (retired) M M Wanchu was also instrumental in mooting the idea of the controversial housing society.

It was during Ramanand Tiwari's tenure that Adarsh got some of its most controversial clearances. He was recently removed from his post of Information Commissioner after refusing to step down in spite of being asked to by the Governor.

The CBI also say that as Deputy Secretary of the Urban Development Department, P V Deshmukh, signed on the green clearance.

The CBI yesterday registered a case against 13 retired Army officials and bureaucrats of the Maharashtra government in connection with the Adarsh housing society scam. The case was registered after the CBI, last week, received flak from the Bombay High Court for its slow probe in the case.