Ashok Chavan named as accused in Adarsh scam

Sunday, January 30, 2011

MUMBAI - In an embarrassment to Maharashtra’s ruling Democratic Front government, former chief minister Ashok Chavan has been named as one of the 13 accused in the FIR filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society scam, top sources in the CBI said here Sunday.

Besides Chavan, the first information report (FIR) filed before a Mumbai court Saturday afternoon also names 12 people, including politician Kanhaiyalal Gidwani, former Mumbai collector Pradeep Vyas, a former major general M.M. Wanchu and R.C. Thakur, sources said.

When contacted on the issue Sunday, the CBI’s Western Region Director Rishi Raj Singh declined to officially comment on the issue of Chavan being named as an accused.

Chavan, who was asked to step down Nov 9 last year and replaced by Prithviraj Chavan, has vehemently denied of any wrongdoing in the Adarsh scam. He has said on several occasions that he was a victim of political vendetta.

Chavan had also expressed readiness to face any inquiry regarding his role in the case.

The development comes in the wake of the Bombay High Court seeking to know what action the CBI had taken in the matter without registering a FIR in the case.

At a hearing Jan 18, the high court had directed the investigating agency to file the FIR within two weeks.

Among other things, the society was accused of usurping a prime plot of defence land meant to house heroes of Kargil war, violating floor space index rules, flouting Coastal Regulation Zone norms and other rules.

Following Chavan’s exit, a former state human rights commission member Subhash Lalla also quit after being named in the scam.

The state information commissioner Ramanand Tiwari was suspended Jan 20 by the state government which initiated proceedings seeking his removal from the constitutional post.

Besides, the state government is also looking into the role of various other bureaucrats whose names have cropped up in the scam.

Similarly, the defence authorities have also initiated a parallel probe into the role of its officers who were directly or indirectly involved in the scam.

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