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Adarsh scam: Deshmukh bent rules

Vilasrao Deshmukh, Union rural development minister, in an affidavit, disclosed that he bent rules to qualify former army chiefs Gen Deepak Kapoor and Gen NC Vij for a flat in Mumbai's controversial Adarsh housing society.

india Updated: Jun 18, 2011 16:54 IST

Vilasrao Deshmukh, Union rural development minister, in an affidavit, disclosed that he bent rules to qualify former army chiefs Gen Deepak Kapoor and Gen NC Vij for a flat in Mumbai's controversial Adarsh housing society.

In an affidavit filed before the two-member inquiry panel headed by retired Bombay high court judge JA Patil, Deshmukh said, "I approved the proposal to relax the domicile norms/conditions in case of Generals Vij and Kapoor. This decision was fully justified and fitting, considering their eminence and their distinguished service to the nation."

Deshmukh justified his decision to relax the society's membership rules for the two generals because they had served in the state for a "considerable period of time". While Gen Vij had served in Maharashtra for 10 years, Gen Kapoor's stint lasted for seven years, he said.

The former Maharashtra chief minister's affidavit also states that the Adarsh society land belonged to the Maharashtra government and was never reserved for defence personnel or Kargil war heroes.

Deshmukh appeared to be abdicating his supervisory responsibility by blaming the state machinery for decisions taken on the controversial Adarsh society during his tenure as Maharashtra chief minister.

Deshmukh also denied that the state's revenue department was asked to put up a proposal for allotment of land to Adarsh society at the insistence of the then Shiv Sena MLC Kanaihyalal Gidwani. This was one of the several charges activist Santosh Daundkar had made in an affidavit before the inquiry Commission.

"The suggestion that I ordered the allotment of land to Adarsh in an irregular and/ or improper manner to favour Gidwani is fully mischievous," he stated, but said that he might have met Gidwani during his tenure.

The due process of law was followed and it was done in public interest, he said. BEST's interest was also protected and there was no loss to the government exchequer as Adarsh society paid Rs 6.40 crore for acquiring the rights of the plot, he said. BEST never opposed his government's decision, Deshmukh claimed.