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Saturday, December 14, 2019

Followed Deshmukh line,acted on secy advice,says Chavan

Former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan again blamed his predecessor and Union minister Vilasrao Deshmukh for the Adarsh housing society irregularities

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Updated: February 6, 2014 3:08:00 pm

Former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan on Monday again blamed his predecessor and Union minister Vilasrao Deshmukh for the Adarsh housing society irregularities. He was deposing before the two-member commission probing the irregularities for the second day.

Chavan told the Adarsh commission that he had acted on the basis of recommendations of the principal secretary to the revenue department,D K Shankaran. The bureaucrat’s son,Sanjoy,has been allotted a flat in the society.

Asked about a letter marked to him by Deshmukh in February 2000,Chavan said,“The letters marked by the CM always get the highest priority. In this case also,the letter marked by the CM to me as the revenue minister states “pl. process this and put up (sic)” is an indication of the intention of the chief minister and accordingly,I had marked this to the deputy secretary to put up immediately.”

Deshmukh,during his deposition,had told the commission that Chavan had not got back to him on the letter after it was marked to him.

On Monday,Chavan was asked if it was a procedure for the revenue minister to reply to a query put by the CM,to which he replied: “It depends upon what are the remarks made by the CM on the letter.” He also claimed that he had subsequently received a letter from the principal secretary recommending a conditional letter of intent (LoI) only after a period of about two years.

He told the commission that he presumed that the scrutiny of the proposal sent by the society had been done by the department.

Chavan made a similar attempt to put responsibility on the principal secretary during the earlier part of his deposition,saying,“I was guided by the recommendations of the principal secretary. All the details were to be seen by the department officials and hence I was not aware as to what I was signing (on) the file.” However,the former chief minister declined to answer if he knew any of the society members,on the grounds that the counsel for the commission had made a statement that it is currently recording evidence only in respect of issues other than membership. His counsel Amit Desai said Chavan was ready to appear before the commission to give his evidence on the issue “subject to his legal rights”.

‘Media reports not correct’

While recording his statement on Monday,Ashok Chavan expressed his objection to the media reports on his deposition on Saturday. According to him,his statements were not being reported correctly and presented an incorrect picture. He went on to demand that the exact transcript of his deposition should be published in newspapers.

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