Mumbai/New Delhi, May 20: Suspended State Information Commissioner Ramanand Tiwari, an accused in Adarsh Housing scam, today targeted Union minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, saying he had approved all proposals regarding the controversial high rise when he was Maharashtra Chief Minister.
Tiwari, in an affidavit filed before the two-member inquiry commission, set up by the Maharashtra government in January to probe alleged irregularities of the Society in upscale Colaba, said that all proposals regarding Adarsh Society “followed the same route” as others and was sent to the minister of the concerned departments.
“Deshmukh while being Chief Minister was also heading the Urban Development Department (UDD). The Society's proposal seeking deletion of the land reserved for BEST and changing it to residential type was forwarded to Deshmukh. Only after his approval, notification dates March 3, 2006 was issued deleting the BEST reservation,” the affidavit states. Deshmukh is now the Union Rural Development Minister.
Tiwari, who was then Principal Secretary of UDD, further claimed that in September 2004, a reference from the state Revenue and Forest Department, which was then headed by Ashok Chavan, was received by the UDD mentioning Adarsh's request to use the Floor Space Index (FSI) of the BEST land after its conversion to residential.
“The reference was also processed and sent to Deshmukh. Only after his approval, the reservation was deleted and the Society was allowed to use the extra FSI,” the affidavit states.
Deshmukh on his part said he would not comment on Tiwari's affidavit saying the matter is subjudice. “I will not respond to an individual's affidavit because the matter is subjudice. The matter is before a commission so it will not be appropriate for me to comment on it,” he said in New Delhi when asked by newsmen for his reaction to the affidavit.
The senior Congrress leader, however, said, “I will have to see the file first that on what date and on what file I have signed. I had been Chief Minister of Maharashtra twice. I don't remember everything. I will have to see the records.” Deshmukh said he will be submitting an affidavit before the Commission on the issues into which the Commission was looking as per the terms of reference decided by the Maharashtra government.
Deshmukh, who has been summoned by the Commission to appear as witness, is yet to file his affidavit clarifying his stand. The Commission in its summons had said the witness if wishes to not appear before the panel could file an affidavit before May 23. PTI