Former Mumbai city collector Pradeep Vyas has contradicted claims made by two former chief ministers — Vilasrao Deshmukh and Sushilkumar Shinde — in their affidavits, by calling parts of their statements ‘incorrect’.
While deposing before the two-member Adarsh inquiry commission on Monday, Vyas refuted the claims made by the two former chief ministers.
The former city collector specifically said that he ‘did not agree with the said contents in Shinde’s affidavit’.
In his affidavit, Shinde had put the onus of clearing and approving the allotment of land to the Adarsh co-operative housing society on the then Collector, Vyas.
This comes after both Deshmukh and Shinde had, in their affidavits, said that they had merely acted upon the recommendations of the bureaucracy. Their affidavits had clearly said that the onus of making the recommendations and putting such proposals for approval was on the collectorate.
While being cross-questioned by the commission’s counsel Dipan Merchant on Monday, Vyas admitted that he made no attempt to either disclose that he was ‘interested party’, while issuing a general resolution dated July 9, 2004 or to recuse himself from handling the file related to Adarsh CHS, despite his wife and IAS officer Seema Vyas applying for a flat in the said society.
Volunteering to disclose, Vyas told the commission, “There were no powers delegated to the collector to approve any membership in this CHS and the power to allot the land was also with the government of Maharashtra.”
Having said that, Merchant then countered Vyas with the affidavits filed by both the ex-chief ministers.
Deshmukh’s affidavit had clearly stated that ‘issues such as reservation, road width, ownership of land, possession of land, membership of society, among other issues were examined by the collectorate’.
Vyas called the statement incorrect, adding, “The statement is not correct. The issue regarding the reservation and road width are not under the purview of the collector.”
The former collector also told the commission that there was no difference between taking measurements and fixing boundaries, and handing over of physical possession to the allotter.
“Except the panchnama, where there is no mention of handing over physical possession, there is no other document showing delivery of physical possession of the land,” Vyas said.