Kanhaiyalal Gidwani, one of the chief promoters of the controversial Adarsh society, continued to contradict his earlier statements by giving former chief minister Ashok Chavan a clean chit, denying his role in admitting civilians as members.
With regard to the letter written on June 2, 2000 which reads ‘that we are agreeable to accommodating civilian members (members from outside defence services) in our society to the extent of 40%’, Gidwani said: “This statement is incorrect and there was no such discussion in the chamber of the revenue minister (Ashok Chavan).”
Adarsh society grabbed headlines when it was alleged that a section of politicians, bureaucrats and army personnel twisted rules to procure apartments in the plush Colaba society. The controversy forced Chavan, the then chief minister, to resign. Gidwani had earlier said Chavan had told the society that the procedure of land allotment would be done on the basis of a standing order by the government.
In his deposition, Gidwani also agreed that the then speaker of the state assembly Babasaheb Kupekar had written a letter to the then chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh asking for additional floor space index (FSI) for Adarsh on July 21, 2005 and the society approved Kupekar’s membership and sent the letter to the collector on December 31, 2007.
Gidwani’s attention was drawn to the letter he had written to the society on April 29, 2008 which read ‘One of the approved nine members who has approached the society is none other than Babasaheb Kupekar, speaker of the state legislative assembly. Ignoring this request from the members would be fatal.’ Gidwani claimed he had made the statement on his own and did not consult Babasaheb. “The word fatal was used by me not only in respect of Kupekar only but nine members,” he added.