The inquiry commission set up to probe irregularities in the Adarsh housing society scam will begin its hearings in the first week of March in a special court room set up at Old Customs House, Colaba.
The commission will conduct a public hearing and the media will be allowed to attend these sessions.
The two-member commission, led by retired judge JA Patil with former bureaucrat P Subrahmanyam as member, also has powers to suo motu (on its own) summon anyone for examination and record evidence if it thinks that the person’s role is relevant to the case.
Sources told the Hindustan Times that this could include some politicians, especially three former chief ministers, Vilasrao Deshmukh, Sushilkumar Shinde and Ashok Chavan, during whose tenures the Adarsh files were cleared and whose names have been mentioned in affidavits filed by flat owners, social activists and other officials being questioned in the case.
The commission will summon all the beneficiaries of Adarsh, some for their statements to be recorded and the others for examination. Officials, who will be called for their evidence to be recorded, can call other witnesses before the commission and submit supporting documents or ask that the government put up the relevant documents before the commission.
“The commission will function like any court of law. It will appoint lawyers for examination and those who are being summoned also have the permission to hire lawyers,” said an official of the commission said requesting anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media.
The commission is scrutinising affidavits filed before it to decide who would record the evidence first. The state has given the commission 13 terms of reference. The main terms are the issue of ownership of the plot, role of public servants in granting clearances in return for benefits, whether the construction of the tower contravenes town planning, environmental laws, eligibility of the members. The procedure of the commission will be notified and publicised on Thursday.
‘Probe role of ex-chiefs of MMRDA in scam’
MUMBAI: An activist wants the roles of four chiefs of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) in the Adarsh scam to be probed.
Right To Information (RTI) activist, Anil Galgali, filed an affidavit before the inquiry commission asking it to investigate the role of four metropolitan commissioners in allotting commencement certificates (CC) and the occupation certificate to Adarsh although the building did not have clearance from the environment ministry.
Galgali’s affidavit claimed that the first CC was signed in 2005 by then metropolitan commissioner, Suresh Joshi, and two subsequent CCs were signed by T Chandrashekhar and Ratnakar Gaikwad, who is now the chief secretary.
“The occupation certificate, which the MMRDA hurriedly revoked after the controversy flared, has been signed by then additional metropolitan commissioner SVR Srinivas, who is holding the charge of metropolitan commissioner. The role of all these officers should also be probed,” the affidavit says. The MMRDA claimed the project was cleared based on submissions made to them and after the municipal corporation had given it a nod. HTC