Former bureaucrat Subhash Lalla, under the scanner for his role in the Adarsh society scam, resigned from his post as state human rights commission member on Monday.
Lalla, former principal secretary to the chief minister, whose family has two flats in the controversial tower, met governor K Sankaranarayanan at Raj Bhavan on Tuesday to hand in his resignation. His letter stated, “I want to clarify that my resigning from the post is voluntary and in no way an admission of any guilt or wrongdoing on my part. I am confident that any fair inquiry will conclude that.”
Sources in the government said although Lalla has resigned it is unlikely that the other bureaucrat named in the scam, state right to information commissioner Ramanand Tiwari, would follow suit. However, if Tiwari does not resign, the state government said it had prepared a letter to be sent to the governor asking him to initiate proceedings for his ouster.
The state government had, last week, asked Lalla and Tiwari to hand in their resignations on moral grounds but both had declined. This is the first time in the state that a bureaucrat has resigned from a constitutional post on grounds of alleged involvement in a scam.
Sources said the state had information through file movement registers and records to directly link these officials to the society. Both Lalla and Tiwari are likely to be named in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) complaint.
"These ex- bureaucrats were asked to step down on moral grounds. Their involvement is clearer than that of the others named in the scam. We have been able to track this information through file movement registers and other correspondences," said a bureaucrat, on condition of anonymity.
Lalla was secretary to the then chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh between 2004 and 2006, while Tiwari was Urban Development Department secretary from 2003 to 2008. A majority of the clearances for Adarsh, including hike in FSI and land allotment, was cleared during this period.
In his resignation letter, Lalla maintained that he had no role or financial involvement in the purchase of flats in Adarsh, and he was resigning for the sake of dignity of the Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission and to avoid further embarrassment to the government or to himself. His letter states that the membership of the society for his mother and daughter were through his late father, Shaligram Lalla, who served in the Military Engineering Services in Kamptee Cantonment in Nagpur and had good relations with the main promoter of the society, RC Thakur.
“After my father, the membership was given to my mother, Shrimati Sushila Shaligram, and my daughter was inducted as a member,” the letter states.
Lalla added that he was posted in the state secretariat much later, in 2000, as secretary in the social justice department and the CM’s office in 2004.