MUMBAI: The Central Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday filed a chargesheet in the Adarsh housing scam against all 14 accused - including former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan, senior ex-Army officials and top bureaucrats.
The chargesheet comes almost a year and a half after the filing of the FIR in the case.
The Ministry of Defence meanwhile has objected to the Maharashtra government's stand that Adarsh land belongs to them.
Chavan had earlier pushed the blame for the Adarsh housing society scam onto his predecessors Vilasrao Deshmukh and Sushil Kumar Shinde when he deposed before the quasi-judicial panel on June 30.
Chavan said the decision to allot land to the controversial 31-storey tower at the upscale Colaba area in south Mumbai was within the purview of the then-CMs, and not that of the revenue minister, the post he had held at the time.
Reading out from a government order dated July 19, 2000, Chavan said, "All land allotment decisions in Mumbai city and suburbs, and Pune, have to be sent to the CM for approval."
The letter of intent for land allocation to Adarsh society was issued on January 23, 2001 - the last day of Deshmukh's tenure as CM. The land was allotted during Shinde's chief ministership.
Chavan also said vital facts like the land being in the possession of the military authorities and it not having a property card or survey number was not brought to his notice by his department.
Chavan had to resign after the scam came to light in November 2010. He is also one of the 14 accused in the case filed by the CBI. He will reappear before the panel on Monday.
Deshmukh, during his deposition on June 27, had blamed Chavan for the scam saying he (Chavan) had approved the allotment only after the revenue department had cleared it.
Two accused in the Adarsh Housing Society scam were granted bail by a special CBI court in Mumbai early last month after the probe agency failed to file a chargesheet against them within the stipulated 60-day period.
The two -- former municipal commissioner of Mumbai Jairaj Phatak and former state information commissioner Ramanand Tiwari -- were arrested April 3 by the CBI for their alleged role in the scam. They had filed their bail pleas Monday.
In their bail applications, the two pointed out that the offences under which they were booked were punishable with imprisonment for less than 10 years. Accordingly, the CBI should have filed its chargesheet within 60 days of being produced before the CBI court.
However, since the CBI had failed to file its chargesheet, they were entitled to get bail.
In May too, a Mumbai court had granted bail to seven other accused in the case. They included: former IAS officer Pradeep Vyas, ex-deputy secretary in Urban Development Department P.V. Deshmukh, retired Brigadier M.M. Wanchoo, former defence estates officer R.C. Thakur, retired Maj. General T.K. Kaul and former legislator Kanhaiyalal Gidwai.
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