‘Got Adarsh letter without being a society member’ | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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‘Got Adarsh letter without being a society member’

In a glaring example of how the bureaucracy functions to help the rich and powerful, the state revenue department handed over the Letter of Intent (LoI) for the Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society to the then Congress legislator Kanhaiyalal Gidwani in 2003 even though he was not a member of the society or was associated with the society then. Zeeshan Shaikh reports.

mumbai Updated: Aug 24, 2011 00:44 IST
Zeeshan Shaikh

In a glaring example of how the bureaucracy functions to help the rich and powerful, the state revenue department handed over the Letter of Intent (LoI) for the Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society to the then Congress legislator Kanhaiyalal Gidwani in 2003 even though he was not a member of the society or was associated with the society then.

“I was told in the department that the LoI was issued and accordingly I asked for a copy of it which was given to me though it was addressed to the chief promoter. I was not authorised by the society to accept the delivery of LoI,” Gidwani told the two-member Adarsh inquiry commission on Tuesday.

The Letter of Intent by the government was addressed to the chief promoter RC Thakur. Gidwani also claimed that at the time when he received the letter through hand delivery, he was neither an office-bearer of the Adarsh society nor associated with it.

Gidwani said that in March 2003, he had written a letter to the then chief minister Sushilkumar Shinde in which he had requested allotment of land for the society as it was mainly meant for persons from the armed forces “who had dedicated their lives for the motherland.”

Gidwani also claimed that he did not mention about civilian members of the society in this letter. The promoters of the society have been accused of getting land in the name of Kargil martyrs and then taking in civilian members in the society.

Gidwani again absolved former chief minister Ashok Chavan, who has been accused of including civilians in the society. Gidwani said that they had met Chavan, the then revenue minister in 2000, who had said that the allotment of land could happen only in accordance with the state government’s GR dated July 1999.

When cross-examined by Commission counsel Dipan Merchant Gidwani claimed that there was no provision in the said GR for including civilian members in a society meant for defence personnel.

Gidwani also said that without waiting for the report by society-hired architects Teamone, he had made an application to the state government for extra FSI for the society.