Chavan pleads innocence, blames Deshmukh for Adarsh

Mumbai: Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, who lost his job for his alleged involvement in the Adarsh Housing Society scam, on Monday virtually sought to blame his predecessor and Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh for the fraud.

Chavan, who was state`s Revenue Minister from 1999 to 2003, when the land was allotted to the controversial society, in an affidavit before the two-member judicial commission probing the alleged fraud, denied any role in it and said the plot was sanctioned by the Chief Minister.

“In respect of allotment of plots of land of the value exceeding Rs 25 lakh and plots of land situated in Pune city, Mumbai city and suburbs, the decision for allotment is that of the Chief Minister as per the Rules of Business,” Chavan said in the affidavit, apparently shifting the blame on Deshmukh, without naming him.

Similarly, Deshmukh, now Union Minister for Rural Development, had in his affidavit before the panel on Friday sought to put the onus for alleged irregularities in Adarsh on the Revenue Department and Mumbai collector.

“The allotment of land is the function of the Revenue Department. The office of the Collector is most closely associated with preparation of the proposal for allotment of land,” he had said in the affidavit, without naming Chavan, who was Revenue Minister under him.

Chavan has been named among the 14 accused by CBI in the FIR filed in the case. He is accused of recommending 40 per cent allotment of flats in Adarsh Society, originally meant for Kargil war widows, to civilians. Chavan is also facing allegation that his relatives got flats in the society as quid pro quo for extending favours to it.