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Adarsh scam: rights panel member quits

Mumbai: Former IAS officer Subhash Lalla, who allegedly had a role in the Adarsh Housing muddle, today resigned as a member of Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission to become the first bureaucrat to be consumed by the scam.

Mr. Lalla, whose kin owns a flat in the Adarsh Housing Society in South Mumbai, met Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan at Raj Bhavan this morning and submitted his resignation from the post.

“The Governor has accepted Lalla’s resignation,” Raj Bhavan spokesperson said.

Mr. Lalla, who was secretary in the Chief Minister’s Office when the Adarsh Housing Society file was being processed in Mantralaya (state secretariat), is the first bureaucrat to resign for his alleged involvement in the Adarsh scam.

Vilasrao Deshmukh was the chief minister at that time.

Ashok Chavan was to forced to quit as Chief Minister in November last year after it was revealed that his kin including late mother-in-law, owned flats in the upscale Adarsh society.

Mr. Lalla, in his resignation letter, said he had resigned to maintain dignity of the Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission.

He said the resignation was voluntary to avoid further embarrassment to the Government or to himself and there was no feeling of guilt or wrongdoing associated with the decision.

He said his name had been “unfortunately” and “unfairly” linked to the Adarsh scam.

Mr. Lalla maintained that he had no role or financial involvement in the purchase of flats in the Society.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had earlier declined to comment on reports that the state government had asked former bureaucrats Ramanand Tiwari and Lalla to step down over their alleged role in the housing scam.

“Chief Secretary was asked to meet the two officers to elicit certain information (on Adarsh scam). I will not comment further,” Mr. Chavan had said last week.

Mr. Tiwari, former Urban Development Secretary, is presently the State Information Commissioner.

Mr. Lalla said membership of his relatives in the Adarsh Society was much prior to his coming to Mantralaya in 2000 which is due to his father, who was a defence personnel.

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