Chavan, 12 others chargesheeted in Adarsh scam

Mumbai: Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan was among 13 people chargesheeted by CBI in the Adarsh scam today with the Congress leader being accused of granting some approvals to the upscale Housing society here as a quid pro quo for allotment of two flats for his kin. Describing as unfortunate and unexpected the 10,000-page chargesheet in connection with alleged irregularities in the scam, Chavan, who was forced to quit as Chief Minister in November 2010 after the scam surfaced, accused his political rivals of trying to implicate him.

"This (CBI chargesheet) is unfortunate and unexpected. The Adarsh housing is only an administrative matter. However, there is a conspiracy by my rivals to malign me. The Adarsh issue has been blown out of proportion," he told reporters after the chargesheet was filed in the Sessions court. The central probe agency had registered a case in the scam in the housing society in Colaba on January 29 last year under IPC sections including criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery and showing forged documents as genuine, besides sections pertaining to Prevention of Corruption Act.

In its chargesheet, CBI charged Chavan with approving additional Floor Space Index(FSI) for the housing society during his tenure as the Chief Minister and alleged that he gave these approvals as a quid pro quo for getting flats alloted for his mother-in-law and brother-in-law. CBI also accused Chavan of illegally approving allotment of 40 per cent of flats for civilians in the housing society, which was said to be meant for Kargil widows and war heroes, during his tenure as Revenue Minister in 2001-03. He had dealt with files pertaining to the ownership of land.

The chargesheet also named retired Army officers — Brig (retd) M M Wanchoo, Major Generals T K Kaul and A R Kumar, Colonels T K Sinha and R Bakshi, ex-Congress MLC K L Gidwani, IAS officer Jairaj Phatak and former CIC Ramanand Tiwari. Besides them, society members R C Thakur, P V Deshmukh, Subhash Lala and Pradeep Vyas have also been named by the CBI

The chargesheet came notwithstanding the claims made by Maharashtra Government before the Bombay High Court that the agency had no jurisdiction in probing the case. CBI informed the Bombay High Court that it was going to file a chargesheet in the case after which the agency submitted the document in the Sessions Court.