The Maharashtra government today appointed a two-member committee to probe the Adarsh Society scam. The committee, comprising retired judge J A Patil and former chief secretary P Subrahmaniam, would conduct a judicial probe into the scam, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said in the presence of Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh.
The committee would probe all aspects of the scam, including land ownership and allotment as well as the various permissions and environmental violations. “A two-member committee has been formed on provisions of the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952, as was announced during the recent winter session of the state legislature. The committee’s terms of reference include inquiry into all aspects, including land ownership and allotment, permissions and environmental violations. The committee will submit its report within three months,” Chavan said.
The committee would also look into violation, if any, by serving bureaucrats while giving clearances to the society at various stages. The violation of coastal zone regulations would also be probed.
Speaking to Business Standard, Subrahmaniam said, “I have accepted the state government’s proposal to be a member of the committee. However, I have made it clear that the inquiry will be completed within a stipulated timeframe without seeking any extension.”
The 103-member Adarsh Society, meant for wives of Kargil heroes, comprises bureaucrats and officials, their sons and daughters and politicians and defence personnel. Ashok Chavan had to resign as chief minister on November 9 over the scam. Former chief minister’s three relatives, including his late mother-in-law, were allotted flats in the society. The announcement comes days after bureaucrats allegedly involved in the scam were named.
On Wednesday, the governor rejected Chief Information Commissioner Ramanand Tiwari’s leave application, which he had submitted after refusing to step down. As urban development secretary, Tiwari had played a direct role in granting clearances for Adarsh.
Later, his son got a flat in the building. On Friday, the state government requested the governor to remove Tiwari from the post of the commissioner.
Earlier, Maharashtra Human Right Commissioner Subhash Lalla had resigned. Lalla was former chief minster Vilasrao Deshmukh’s secretary and is said to have helped get more land for the society.