The Central Bureau of Investigation has, in its charge sheet filed in the Adarsh CHS scam, dropped charges of forgery against those accused in the case. The investigating agency has, however, identified brigadier MM Wanchu, RC Thakur and the late M Guruswamy, as key conspirators in the scam.
The CBI had in its FIR registered on January 29, 2011, named 14 accused in the case and had booked them under the IPC sections 468 (forgery for the purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged documents or electronic record), 420 (cheating) and 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy). The maximum punishment in these could extend upto seven years.
Earlier, while opposing the bail plea of the accused, the CBI had stated that it was likely to add stringent sections of the law against the accused in the scam, whereby the maximum punishment for the guilty could be life imprisonment. The CBI had claimed that they were likely to add section 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) and 467 (forgery with valuable security) against the accused. They had claimed that they had collected the samples of signatures and handwriting of the accused and had given it for analysis. They are awaiting the report, they had claimed.
However, in the charge sheet the agency has proposed that all accused be charged only for ‘cheating’ and ‘criminal conspiracy’ and has dropped charges of ‘forgery’.
Further the charge sheet states that Thakur who was working as sub-divisional officer in the defence estate office, (DEO) Mumbai, Guruswamy, defence estate officer, and Wanchu, a brigadier, were the key conspirators. The trial against Guruswamy will not continue as he has passed away.
The charge sheet states that Thakur had full knowledge about the status of the land (on which Adarsh building stands), which was in possession of the Army. There are 9 arrested accused in the case – RC Thakur, secretary of Adarsh, retired brigadier MM Wanchu, ex-Cong MLC Kanhaiyalal Gidwani, promoters of the society; former deputy secretary of UDD PV Deshmukh, IAS officers Ramanand Tiwari and Jairaj Phatak, retired major generals AR Kumar and TK Kaul and former city collector Pradeep Vyas.