In a disclosure that could rattle former Maharashtra chief ministers Narayan Rane and Vilasrao Deshmukh, a deputy secretary of the revenue and forest department told the Adarsh inquiry commission, on Monday, that both of them had endorsed the file during their respective tenures.
It has been alleged that Rane had received a letter from the Adarsh promoters on September 21, 1999 for allocation of the land, which Rane then forwarded to the revenue ministry for further processing.
“The endorsement was in Marathi and reads “Twarit ahwal dyava” (submit the report immediately). This endorsement is made and signed by Shri Narayan Rane, the then chief minister on September 25, 1999,” JK Gharat, deputy secretary, revenue and forest department told the Adarsh commission. Gharat was an under-secretary in the Revenue Department at the time.
It has been alleged that Rane had given the initial go-ahead for the allotment of land to the society in 1999.
Gharat in his deposition also said that on January 13, 2000, the chief promoter of Adarsh wrote a letter to Ashok Chavan who was the then revenue minister, in connection with the allotment of government land to the society.
This letter had notings from the then chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh who endorsed the letter and who asked the revenue secretary to put up the proposal. “At the top of this letter is an endorsement with the signature of Vilasrao Deshmukh, the then chief minister and it reads “Pri. Sec. (Rev.) Please call for the proposal and put up immediately,” Gharat said.
He added that after the receipt of this letter he had sent a letter to the collector calling for a report.
Rane was chief minister of Maharashtra till October 1999 heading the Sena-BJP alliance government. He was succeeded by Vilasrao Deshmukh who remained in the chief ministerial chair till 2003 when Sushilkumar
Shinde took over. The allotment of the land as well as several permissions to Adarsh were given during this entire period. Gharat’s deposition will continue on Tuesday.