NEWDELHI: The CBI probing the multi-crore Adarsh housing society scam recently questioned former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan as it prepares to file chargesheet in the case.
Earlier, it had questioned two of his predecessors, Vilasrao Deshmukh and Sushil Kumar Shinde, who are presently Union Cabinet Ministers, besides several bureaucrats and retired Army officials.
Chavan was questioned for his alleged role in granting approvals to construct the controversial housing society during his tenure, first as Maharashtra’s Revenue Minister and later as the CM.
He, however, refused to comment on his questioning, saying the matter was sub-judice.
According to the CBI’s FIR registered in January last year, Chavan, while holding the revenue portfolio, had joined other conspirators who were office-bearers of the housing society to grant approval to the resolution recommending inclusion of civilians, which was originally meant only for the Kargil’s war widows and victims. The agency alleged that the minister had abused his official position with an ulterior motive in the lieu of getting flats for his relatives.
Sources say the agency sleuths have collected lot of information on Chavan’s role after questioning his co-accused, Adarsh Society’s general secretary R C Thakur, Brigadier (retd) M M Wanchoo and Congress leader K L Gidwani.
However, the most crucial information has come from the questioning of senior IAS official of Maharashtra’s cadre Jairaj Pathak, who was the then Commissioner of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and was heading the committee on high-rise buildings.
During his tenure, he had allegedly approved to increase the residential complex’s height from 97 to 107 m on September 1, 2007.
The agency had registered cases against 14 persons, including Chavan and retired Army officials, bureaucrats and government officials on charges of criminal conspiracy, fraud and misuse of their official powers.