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Crime branch to quiz senior bureaucrats

mumbai Updated: Feb 01, 2011 01:41 IST
HT Correspondent

Two senior bureaucrats, who once held key positions in the state’s urban development department, will be questioned by the crime branch, which is probing the case of missing notings from a file related to Adarsh society.

Sources in the crime branch told the Hindustan Times that former principal secretary of the department, Ramanand Tiwari, and deputy secretary, PV Deshmukh, will soon be summoned for questioning.

Both, Tiwari and Deshmukh, have been named in the first information report registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday.

The missing pages of the file allegedly contained notings and signatures of then chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and Tiwari. The two bureaucrats will be questioned to know what the notings were and who the custodian of the file was before it went missing, sources said. The file was closed towards the end of 2003.

The crime branch has already questioned more than 25 officials from the urban development department since it was handed over the investigation in November 2010.

Those questioned include clerks and section officers posted in the department at various times and those involved in moving the file.

Sources said the investigators have identified four officials, who, they suspect, could have been involved. The police are contemplating sending them and some others for narco analysis.

The crime branch is keen on knowing how file number 7, one of the 12 related to Adarsh, disappeared. That the file was missing came to light when a Right To Information application filed in June 2010 had asked for it. It was traced when the CBI asked for it in October but pages 15, 27, 99 and 279 were missing.

The notings approved two controversial decisions — reducing the width of Captain Prakash Pethe Marg, the approach road to the building, and changing the status of the land from reserved to residential following a no-objection certificate from the Union environment ministry.

The other missing documents include letters exchanged between then PV Deshmukh and the environment ministry. It was on the basis of these documents that the department claimed that the project had the green nod.

In early January, the environment ministry declared Adarsh illegal saying it violated environmental norms.