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Adarsh: 'Chavan a small fry; Shinde main culprit'

Last updated on: November 13, 2010 18:13 IST

The 'Adarsh Scam' is justĀ getting murkier by the day.

On Saturday, former Indian Police Services officer and practicing advocate YP Singh alleged that former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, who lost his chair after being blamed for giving sanctions to the Adarsh Housing project in posh Colaba in Mumbai, was just a 'small fry.'

Singh said the main culprit was Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, who was then the Maharashtra chief minister.

Singh said that there was 'overwhelming evidence' to show that Shinde took personal interest in having the project passed. "Shinde took pecuniary interest in having the project cleared; in fact many of the decisions were taken after the election code of conduct in 2004 was in place. We are now going to the Anti Corruption Bureau to file a complaint against Shinde, his then principal secretary Subhash Lalla, the then revenue secretary R C Joshi, and former Defence Estate employees Kanhaiyalal Gidwani and R C Thakur for criminal conspiracy," claimed Singh.

Giving out the details of the eight points on which their case rests, Singh said, "The file notings were falsified to show that the decisions were taken before August 24, 2004 when the code of conduct due to elections took place. Shinde also took interest to ensure that initially the Adarsh society members would be charged 20 per cent of the market value of the plot. However, later it was reduced to even lower, which was again illegal as it was done without the permission of the revenue department," said Singh.

Giving out evidence, Singh showed how the then principal secretary to Shinde, Subhash Lalla, ensured that the files were cleared at the earliest.

Lalla in lieu of it got two flats in his relatives' name in Adarsh society.

"Shamefully, Lalla showed that his mother, who was actually an aged house wife, was a member of the military engineering services, to get the plot. Lalla also got a plot in his daughter's name in the building," said Singh.

The advocate added that while they still hadn't found any flat allotment in the name of Shinde's close relatives, they have found that Shinde took special interest in having a flat allotted to one Khankhoje.

We have got so much evidence that Singh cannot deny that he just signed the file, he actually participated in many of the meetings and as such we are filing a complaint against all of these men.

Singh did not even spare former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, saying that they believe that even he played a major role in the flat. However, since they haven't got much evidence against him, they were not taking his name now.

The advocate also said that the Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh should not just be content with just demolishing Adarsh Society, but also registering a case under section 15 of the Environment Act, which is a cognizable offence, as it provides for a punishment of five years.

Image: Former Maharashtra CM Sushil Kumar Shinde

N Ganesh in Mumbai