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Minister denies clearing files

Water resources minister Sunil Tatkare told the two-member Adarsh inquiry commission, through his affidavit filed on Thursday, that he had nothing to do with the clearing of files pertaining to the controversial society.

mumbai Updated: May 27, 2011 01:26 IST
HT Correspondent

Water resources minister Sunil Tatkare told the two-member Adarsh inquiry commission, through his affidavit filed on Thursday, that he had nothing to do with the clearing of files pertaining to the controversial society.

Tatkare, who was the minister of state for urban development intermittently from 1999 to 2004, pointed out he had no powers to take decisions in the Adarsh case as he was a junior minister. “I am not even remotely concerned with any of the alleged irregularities pertaining to Adarsh,” the affidavit states.

Tatkare enclosed three standing orders issued by the then chief ministers dividing the work between chief minister/minister of UDD and MoS of UDD in 1999, 2000 and 2003.

As per the three standing orders, MoS did not have any powers or jurisdiction to clear cases or take decisions in Mumbai, MMR or Pune region. This would automatically rule out Adarsh. During his tenure, Tatkare worked under chief ministers Vilasrao Deshmukh and Sushilkumar Shinde.

The affidavit implies that Adarsh decisions were taken by his seniors. Tatkare admitted holding one meeting of officials and society members to discuss the matter of additional floor space index (FSI) to Adarsh society on July 14, 2004.

But, the affidavit states, the request was found unfeasible and no decision was taken.

The affidavit includes a brief note on the meeting prepared by the then general manager of BEST Swadhin Kshatriya, dated August 19, 2004.

The note says various officials including revenue secretary, principal secretary housing, managing director of BEST, MMRDA commissioner, collector of city besides MLC and society promoter Kanhaiyalal Gidwani were called for the meeting.

The society had requested additional FSI from the adjoining BEST plot. The society was willing to pay the government the land cost. The note states that then principal secretary of UDD Ramanand Tiwari said it would not be feasible to allot the FSI “as the plot was reserved for a BEST depot”.

Tiwari said the society would have to approach the government for allotment of the BEST plot.