With the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) questioning former Maharashtra chief minister Sushil Kumar Shinde in the Adarsh scam on Sunday, sources said said ex-chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh would be next in line for interrogation. Ashok Chavan, who quit as chief minister in the wake of the scam, would also be approached by the agency very soon.
Senior Congress leader Shinde is alleged to have shown haste during his tenure in clearing the Adarsh housing society files before the Election Commission’s code of conduct came into effect on August 24, 2004. It now seems to have returned to haunt him. Shinde has been accused of clearing the Adarsh files in haste just before the state went to elections in 2004.
The CBI had filed the first information report (FIR) in the case early this year.
Deshmukh is alleged to have cancelled the reservation of an adjoining road for allotting the area to Adarsh society. Also, the floor space index of an adjoining BEST depot was given to Adarsh housing society to raise the height of the building.
Ashok Chavan is among the 13 retired and serving defence personnel, bureaucrats and politicians named in the FIR on charges of criminal conspiracy, fraud and abuse of power. Chavan is accused of abusing his powers to get flats for his kin. Meant to be a society for war widows and defence personnel, Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society at Cuffe Parade came under the scanner following allegations that it had violated environment norms and had given politicians and bureaucrats flats in the building in return for clearances.
Shinde said in his affidavit filed with the probe commission appointed by the government that due process of law was followed and verification was done by several state officials before granting permission to the high-rise in Colaba.