India

Adarsh Society Scam Enquriry Commission to Start Proceedings

Adarsh Society building

BeyondHeadlines News Desk

New Delhi: The enquiry commission constituted by the Maharashtra Government to investigate the much talked Adarsh Housing Society scam all set to start proceedings this week.

the state government had formed the commission in December 2010 under the leadership of former High Court Justice J A Patil. Ex-Chief Secretary P Subramanian is also included in the panel as its member to probe the alleged irregularities in allotment of plot and grant of additional FSI to Adarsh Society.

Adarsh Society building

“The Commission was expected to submit its report within three months from January 8. However, we got all the resources including accommodation in February. We have started getting affidavits from the members of the society and various departments of the government,” an official attached to the Commission said.

An extension of time would be sought, he added.

The Commission’s probe would run parallel to the inquiry by CBI, which has registered a case against 13 accused, including former chief minister Ashok Chavan, for criminal conspiracy, fraud and misuse of the official powers.

The Commission would look into issues such as whether the land was reserved for kin of Kargil war martyrs, alleged violation of Coastal Regulation Zone rules, etc.

In 2010, serious violations of rules at various phases of construction in the Adarsh Society came to the fore. Questions were raised on the manner in which apartments in the building were allocated to bureaucrats, politicians and army personnel who had nothing to do with Kargil War and the way in which clearances were obtained for the construction of the building of the Adarsh Society. The Adarsh society high-rise was constructed in the posh Colaba locality of Mumbai, which is considered a sensitive coastal area by the Indian Defence forces and houses various Indian Defense establishments. The society is also alleged to have violated the Indian environment ministry rules. Many activists like Medha Patkar had been trying to uncover this scam since a long time. The exposure of the infamous nexus between politicians, bureaucrats and builders in this scam is said to be only the tip of the iceberg. It had led to resignation of the then Chief Minister, Ashok Chavan.

Several inquiries have been ordered by the army and the government to probe into the irregularities. Some of the current occupants of the flats in the Adarsh co-operative society building have offered to vacate their flats at the earliest, denying allegations that they were alloted flats because they influenced or helped, in some manner, the construction of the society by violating the rules. It was also exposed that the lower house of the Indian Parliament was misled by one of the bureaucrats, Pradeep Vyas, involved.

The environment minister Jairam Ramesh formally set the ball rolling for the demolition of the entire 31-story scam-tainted Adarsh building in Coloba’s eco-sensitive zone on Friday November 12, 2010. The environment minister is said to have sent a show cause notice to the Adarsh housing society. The environment minister is said to have stated that “all options under the law are open except regularization of the structure.” As per the Ministry of Environment and Forests’ order dated January 16, 2011, “the unauthorised structure should be removed in its entirety and the area restored to its original condition.”

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