Going by the city Collector’s deposition before the two-member Adarsh inquiry commission, the state government misrepresented facts willfully in a bid to facilitate the society’s request.
The state’s revenue department issued a clarification to its original allotment letter dated July 9, deleting the words “in possession with the defence” at the express wishes of the controversial housing society. This was done even though the government knew that the Army was in fact in possession of the plot. It was also done without seeking a no-objection certificate from the Army. Records submitted as evidence before the commission proves this.
Oak also admitted during the cross-examination, “It is correct that on July 19, 2004, the government was fully aware that the physical possession of the land in question was with the local military authority. I cannot say why a corrigendum was issued despite this.”
Even the society’s stance was proved as contradictory by the commission counsel Dipan Merchant.
The society in its letter dated July 19 had asked the government to either delete the words ‘in possession with defence’ or add the word ‘illegal’ to the possession. This letter had stated that since defence NOC, “the society had been taking care of the plot and possession is already with us”.
However, in another letter dated September 23, the society had requested the handing over of the physical possession of the land in question. The decision to issue the corrigendum is likely to also implicate the then principal secretary of the revenue department.
Merchant also quizzed Oak on whether standard procedure like panchnama was carried out while handing over physical possession of the land to Adarsh. The collector had been insisting that military was in unauthorised possession of the land but even when land is taken from such an occupant, a procedure is to be followed.
Oak said he would have to verify if a panchanama was carried out or any standard procedure was followed. If Oak finds out that this procedure was not followed, it would raise serious questions over the validity of the entire deal.
Arrested development dept officials get bail
mumbai: The three Urban Development Department (UDD) officials, who were arrested in connection with the Adarsh Housing Society missing papers case, were granted bail by a magistrate court on Tuesday after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) failed to submit the charge sheet in time.
The officials, UDD desk officer Gurudutt Wajpe, assistant town planner NN Narvekar and Waman Rawool, former clerk to the UDD principal secretary, were released by the court after the CBI failed to submit the charge sheet against them within the 60-day deadline.
The officials had been arrested on May 5.
“When the CBI did not submit the charge sheet by Monday evening, we applied for bail. They have been released on a surety of Rs1 lakh each,” said defence counsel Satish Maneshinde.
Wajpe was the complainant in the case of the missing file, which was registered with the Marine Drive police station last year.
The crime branch had probed the matter before it was transferred to the CBI.
The CBI grew suspicious of Wajpe after they found that during his tenure as desk officer, the file had suddenly reappeared but vital documents, which allegedly held information on clearances from the ministry of environment and forests, were missing.
Due to this, the CBI found it difficult to establish accountability of bureaucrats in the scam.