CM vs CM vs CM

Three former Maharashtra chief ministers traded charges while deposing before the government’s two-member inquiry commission

Written by NEERAD PANDHARIPANDE | Mumbai | Published: July 5, 2012 3:20:58 am

Three former Maharashtra chief ministers traded charges while deposing before the government’s two-member inquiry commission,each challenging various clearances granted by the other to Adarsh Housing Society during his tenure.

Sushilkumar Shinde,Vilasrao Deshmukh and Ashok Chavan made their statements while the CBI was still readying its chargesheet.

Chavan pointed to the roles of Deshmukh and Shinde in the allotment of land,while Deshmukh referred to Chavan’s role in allowing 40 per cent civilian membership. Shinde,in turn,noted that the additional FSI that allowed more floors was granted after his tenure,implicating Deshmukh. The letter of intent for the project had been approved by Deshmukh on January 18,2003; the letter of allotment issued by Shinde on July 19,2004.

“The chief ministers indeed seem to have passed the buck on to each other. But at another level,there also seems to be a consensus to blame bureaucrats for not giving them appropriate advice,” said Simpreet Singh,one of those who have filed a PIL in Bombay High Court.

Each CM said he signed clearances “in good faith”,depending on bureaucrats,Singh found this an “unfortunate situation” with the state “at the mercy of persons who blindly sign documents on the basis of bureaucrats’ recommendations”.

Pravin Wategaonkar,another petitioner,noted that “it has come on record that the chief ministers did,in fact,grant various levels of approval to the society,even if on someone else’s advice.”

Timeline

2008

August 27: NAPM,an NGO,files a complaint with the Central,state and civic authorities alleging irregularities in construction

2010

October 25: Western Naval Command addresses a note to the state government raising security concerns about the building,which overlooks defence establishments

October 28: Reports surface that Ashok Chavan’s late mother- in- law Bhagwati Sharma was one of the allottees

November 1: Development authority MMRDA revokes occupation certificate given to society

November 9: Ashok Chavan resigns as CM; Defence Minister recommends CBI probe

November 22: Adarsh society members move HC

December 23: HC refuses to direct restoration of electricity and water supply to Adarsh

2011

January 8: CM Prithviraj Chavan sets up two-member fact-finding commission

January 16: Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh recommends demolition

January 29: CBI registers FIR against 14 persons,including Ashok Chavan

February 17: HC transfers probe into missing files to CBI

April 13: HC stays demolition of building

April 19: Adarsh Commission begins proceedings

May 26-June 20: Former CMs Sushilkumar Shinde,Vilasrao Deshmukh,Ashok Chavan file affidavits before Adarsh panel

August 9: CAG report placed in Parliament,calls Adarsh a case of “fence eating the crop”

2012

February 28: HC criticises CBI,Enforcement Directorate for inaction

March 20-21: CBI arrests seven including senior bureaucrats

April 14: Adarsh commission submits report,says land belongs to state government

June 25-July 1: 3 former CMs appear before commission

July 4: CBI files chargesheet

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