Mumbai, Jun 20: Ashok Chavan, who was the Revenue Minister from 1999-2003 when land was allotted to the Adarsh Housing Society, today said that the plot was sanctioned by then Chief Minister and he had no role to play in it.
Without naming Vilasrao Deshmukh, Chavan, who stepped down as Chief Minister last year following controversy over Adarsh, told the Commission probing alleged irregularities into the scam that for allotment of plot for value exceeding Rs 25 lakh and plots situated in Pune, Mumbai and suburbs, the decision for allotment is of the Chief Minister.
Deshmukh, who filed an affidavit before Adarsh Commission on June 17, had put the onus on the Revenue department and the Mumbai Collector saying that while allotting land to Adarsh Society he had acted on the proposal sent by them.
Chavan has been named among the 14 accused by CBI in its probe into the scam. He is accused of recommending 40 per cent allotment of flats in Adarsh Society, originally meant for Kargil war widows, to civilians. Chavan is also facing allegation that his relatives got flats in the society.
Countering the allegations, Chavan said, “There was no question of my suggestion that civilian members be included in the Society and any suggestion that this was discussed with me or that I had suggested or directed or decided on the same is false and denied.”
“In the meeting I have asked the department only to look into the issue relating to the allotment of the land and call for the required information in the respect thereof. No decision was taken at the meeting”.
Chavan said when he was the Revenue Minister, the file on verification of Adarsh Society falling in CRZ, eligibility of members and value of land, was placed before him in July 2002.
“At that stage the matter relating to allotment of land was still only at the stage of verification of the proposal and there was no question of the Revenue department having taken any decision on allotment of land,” the eight-page affidavit filed by Chavan said.
“This decision for allotment of land took place more than 16 months after I ceased to be the Revenue Minister. In view of this, I have no personal knowledge of any matter regarding the actual verification/approval of members by the department or matters related to allotment of the land to the Society,” Chavan said.
Chavan further said that when he was the Revenue Minister, his actions were only to seek compliance of the Government Resolution (GR) of July 1999 for allotment of lands belonging to Maharashtra.
“Matters relating to the eligibility of membership of the (Adarsh) Society, reservation of the land or membership of the society for defence personnel were all matters which were governed by the GR,” said Chavan.
Chavan said the procedure relating to the verification of the relevant facts was undertaken by the Collector of Mumbai and officials of Revenue Department and this procedure went on even much after he left the Revenue Department.
Saying that “the matters did not come under the scope of duties and responsibilities of the Revenue department, Chavan absolved himself on subjects relating to reduction of width of Prakash Pethe Marg, change of reservations from road to residential, deletion of reservation of plot reserved for BEST and issues relating to Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, Development Control Rules and CRZ. PTI