A day after registering a first information report (FIR) against 13 persons in connection with irregularities in Colaba's Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society, the CBI on Sunday conducted raids on four of the accused.
Among those raided include chief promoters of Adarsh RC Thakur and Kanhaiyalal Gidwani, who is also a former Congress member of legislative council (MLC), former major-general MM Wanchoo, who is president of the society, and Ramanand Tiwari former principal secretary of Urban Development Department.
The raids, which began around 6.30 am, were conducted at Thakur's Thane residence in Raunak Park building besides his house in Madhubani district of Bihar, Gidwani's residence at Bhima Apartments in Worli and Wanchoo's Salunkhe Vihar residence in Pune. The Adarsh office was also raided.
A CBI team also raided Tiwari's residence in Suruchi building near Mantralaya.
During the raids, the anti-corruption branch (ACB) of CBI seized around 200 files, laptops and computer hard discs.
A senior CBI officer, requesting anonymity, said Thakur and Wanchoo were raided as the basic idea behind forming Adarsh society was theirs. They subsequently involved Gidwani.
"While Thakur and Wanchoo handled the defence side to clear hurdles, Gidwani managed political clearances," the officer said.
He added that all the three were accused of illegally grabbing the land.
The officer said Tiwari was raided because he was, along with others, responsible for changing the development plan.
The society has been accused of violating environmental norms and of getting the land on the promise that houses would be built for war widows and veterans. However, most of the houses were allotted to politicians, bureaucrats and Army and Navy officers.
A CBI statement on Sunday said, "Consequent to the registration of a criminal case in the matter of Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society, CBI, ACB, Mumbai conducted searches to the office, residential premises of the main accused persons at 10 places..."