Panel says Adarsh land not army's
In a huge relief to Maharashtra government, the judicial commission of inquiry looking into the Adarsh housing scam has held that the land on which the controversial building stands belongs to the state and not the army.
The two-member panel, which had submitted its interim report to the government last Friday, has also held that the building was not reserved for war heroes and Kargil widows.
The interim report was discussed by the Maharashtra cabinet today, sources close to the development said, adding it is likely to be tabled in the legislature later in the day.
The commission headed by former Bombay High Court judge JA Patil includes former state Chief Secretary P Subramanian.
The report, according to sources, has thrown light on the issues of ownership of the land on which the 31-storey high-rise stands in upscale Colaba, and if it was reserved for war heroes and Kargil conflict widows.
The allegations in the case are that the land was allotted by the state government to the Adarsh Society though it belonged to the Defence Ministry, and the building came up in violation of several civic and environmental norms.
The state government had approached the commission a few months ago seeking an interim report on the points of title and reservation.
The Maharashtra government had appointed the two-member panel to probe the Adarsh Society scam in January last year. The panel has been tasked with probing all aspects of the scam, including ownership of the land and allotment, as well as alleged violations of rules in grant of various clearances to the building.
The commission is also looking into violation of coastal zone regulations. A number of top civil and army officials and politicians, including former chief Minister Ashok Chavan, are alleged to have facilitated clearances for the building and got flats in it as quid pro quo.
Nine of the 14 accused, including two senior IAS officers, have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the scam.