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Ashok Chavan appears before Adarsh judicial panel

Mumbai: Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan today deposed before the inquiry commission set up by the state Government to go into the Adarsh housing society scam.

Chavan, who had to step down as Chief Minister soon after the alleged scam surfaced in November 2010, is one of the 14 accused in the case filed by the CBI, which is probing several irregularities and violation of rules in construction of the 31-storeyed building in upscale Colaba.

CBI has alleged in its FIR, which also names several retired army officers and bureaucrats, that Chavan as Revenue Minister okayed inclusion of civilians in the society meant for defence personnel and, as quid pro quo, his relatives got flats in the south Mumbai high-rise.

Chavan was Revenue Minister during Vilasrao Deshmukh`s first stint as Chief Minister between 1999 and 2003.

In his deposition before the commission on June 27, Deshmukh had sought to absolve himself of culpability in the scam and passed the buck to Chavan, saying the "whole" matter was referred to the Revenue Department for clearance after which the land was allotted.

Deshmukh, currently Union Minister of Science and technology, also said the decision to include civilians as members of the society, which was said to be exclusively meant for members of the defence services and war widows, was taken by Chavan.

Before Deshmukh, another former Chief Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, had appeared before the judicial panel on Monday.

Shinde, Union Power Minister, who is also under the scanner in the scam, had in his deposition sought to wash his hands off the blame saying the decision on allotting government land and granting additional FSI to the society was taken during Deshmukh`s tenure as Chief Minister.

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