Senior IAS officer Jairaj Phatak and former State Information Commissioner Ramanand Tiwari were today arrested by the CBI for alleged irregularities in granting sanction to multi-storey Adarsh Housing Society.
Jairaj, a 1978 batch IAS officer, and Tiwari, a 1972 batch IAS officer who retired as Additional Chief Secretary of Maharashtra Government, were arrested after day-long questioning, CBI spokesperson said.
A CBI spokesperson said that both will be produced before a designated court tomorrow. They are among 14 people named in the FIR registered by the agency last year.
With these two, the number of people arrested in the case has gone up to nine.
According to CBI, Phatak, during his tenure as municipal commissioner and head of the High Rise Committee, allegedly allowed the height of the building in upmarket Colaba to be raised beyond 100 metres.
Phatak is alleged to have taken this decision without referring the matter to other members of the committee as per rules, the CBI claimed. The agency has alleged that Pathak, against whom it has got sanction for prosecution, received a flat in the Adarsh Society building in the name of his son allegedly as quid pro quo.
"Proposals of those buildings having height of more than 70 mts have to be referred to the high rise committee. In this case the committee had recommended height of 97.60 mtrs. In September 2007 the society constructed an additional floor without the permission of the civic body and thereby the height of the building became 100.7 mts. The then Municipal Commissioner, Jairaj Pathak illegally regularised the same without referring to High Rise committee," the CBI alleged.
Former State Information Commissioner Tiwari, who is also an accused in the case, is alleged to have facilitated the transfer of floor space index (FSI) from the BEST land to Adarsh.
Tiwari allegedly issued letters to MMRDA misguiding the planning authority on various issues in the development of the plot. Both Tiwari and Phatak were suspended by the government after CBI sought sanction to prosecute them.
Others arrested in the Adarsh scam are Major Generals (Retd) A R Kumar and T K Kaul, retired defence estates officer R C Thakur, Brigadier (Retd) M M Wanchoo, P V Deshmukh, a former Deputy Secretary in the Urban Department, Kanhaiyalal Gidwani and Pradeep Vyas, who was Mumbai Collector when the fraud took place. CBI in its FIR registered on January 29 last year named 14 accused in the case.
The others named are former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan, former principal secretary to the chief minister Subhash Lala, retired Col T K Sinha, retired brigadier P K Rampal and retired deputy GOC R C Sharma.