MUMBAI: The CBI on Tuesday arrested senior bureaucrats -- principal secretary Jairaj Phatak and former state information commissioner Ramanand Tiwari -- in connection with the Adarsh scam case in Maharashtra. The CBI had called both Pathak and Tiwari for interrogation on Tuesday and later arrested them.
Pathak is being investigated for allegedly permitting to raise the height of the building from 97m to 107m in his capacity as the Municipal Commissioner of Mumbai in 2007.
While Tiwari, who was the principal secretary (urban development), had allowed the use of additional floor space index of land owned by Birhanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking by the Adarsh tower. The family members of both Tiwari and Pathak own apartments in Adarsh building. Though the arrest of Pathak was anticipated following strictures passed by the Bombay High court against the CBI for dragging its feet, it has shocked the officers in the IAS circles in Maharashtra and elsewhere. Pathak, an IIT graduate in Physics, had done his Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University and subsequently took his doctorate from Mumbai University. Pathak, who was on deputation with the Central Government serving as secretary in the Panchayati Raj Department, was sent back to Maharashtra in April 2011 after his name cropped up in the scam.
Pathak was also overlooked for the recent promotion as additional chief secretary. The other Maharashtra Government servants to be arrested by the CBI in Adarsh case are Pradeep Vyas, a suspended government employee, P V Deshmukh, former deputy secretary in the Urban Department. While those arrested from the Army are Major General (retired) T K Kaul, Major General (retired) A R Kumar, Brigadier (retired) M M Wanchoo, R C Thakur, a retired defence estates officer, P V Deshmukh, a former deputy secretary in the Urban Department.
Former MLC K L Gidwani, a promoter of Adarsh Housing Society, is the only civilian to be behind bars in the case.