Former municipal commissioner Jairaj Phatak admitted that the Adarsh society did not have Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF).
Phatak made this claim while deposing before a two-member commission appointed by the state government to probe the irregularities in the Adarsh society, When asked whether it would be correct to say the society did not have the CRZ clearance from the MoEF, Phatak said "Yes it is true". Phatak also said even the state government did not obtain the CRZ clearance from the MoEF for the land.
Phatak is under suspicion because he is alleged to have favoured the society during his tenure (2007-09) as civic chief since his son Kanishka happens to be the member of the society.
In addition, Phatak claimed that in his view the said clearance ought to have been the responsibility of the state government and not the society to whom the land was transferred. "In my view, with regards to CRZ areas, when the land is to be transferred to the new transferee (Adarsh society), the original transferor (state government) would be able to obtain CRZ clearance since no prudent transferee would like to make a large payment unless he is sure the land is cleared from the CRZ angle," said Phatak.
On Wednesday, Phatak admitted not informing the state government of his son's membership.