Phatak,Tiwari sent to CBI custody

The two suspended IAS officers arrested in connection with the Adarsh scam,Jairaj Phatak and Ramanand Tiwari,were sent to CBI’s custody till April 12.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: April 5, 2012 2:24 am

The two suspended IAS officers arrested in connection with the Adarsh scam,Jairaj Phatak and Ramanand Tiwari,were sent to CBI’s custody till April 12.

The CBI in its remand application claimed that former BMC commissioner Phatak and principal secretary to the urban development department (UDD) Tiwari had allegedly entered into a criminal conspiracy with another arrested accused R C Thakur and got a plot on the Backbay reclamation in Cuffe Parade,allotted in favour of Adarsh. Both Phatak and Tiwari’s family members own a flat in the society launched in the names of Kargil war widows and their relatives.

According to the CBI,Tiwari during his tenure as a principal secretary wrote to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) seeking a no-objection certificate (NOC) for Adarsh. According to the CBI,permission was granted only after Tiwari’s correspondence with the MoEF. According to the remand copy presented before the special CBI court,the UDD had misinterpreted an MoEF letter as an NOC. This letter,which only spoke of powers delegated to the state government,was sent to the municipal corporation,claiming it was an NOC.

Against Phatak,the CBI claimed that the highrise committee had in 2007 allowed Adarsh to construct up to a height of 97.60 m. Phatak had allegedly approved the proposal to increase the building’s height from 97 m to 100.07 m on September 1,2007,the CBI claimed.

On Wednesday,senior CBI counsel Bharat Badami told the court that Phatak had conspired with other accused and regularised the height of the building without referring back to highrise committee. “It is essential to find out the quid pro quo in getting these clearances from the BMC and MoEF,” Badami argued.

However,defence lawyers for both the accused said the clearance had nothing to do with the flats their relatives owned. Meanwhile,the special CBI court rejected the bail application moved by seven accused arrested last month. It observed that the accusations were of a serious nature and the accused came from influential backgrounds.

The Army officials arrested in the case are retired Major-Generals T K Kaul and A R Kumar,retired defence estates officer R C Thakur and Brigadier (retd) M M Wanchoo. The government officials behind bars are former deputy secretary to the UDD P V Deshmukh and former city collector Pradeep Vyas. Former Congress MLC Kanhaiyalal Gidwani is also in jail for his role in the scam. “The agency has made substantial progress in the investigation. Most accused own a flat in the society,” the court observed while rejecting the application.

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