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Rediff.com  » News » Adarsh scam: 3 accused get CBI custody till Mar 31

Adarsh scam: 3 accused get CBI custody till Mar 31

March 21, 2012 18:48 IST
Three former government employees, including retired defence estates officer, R C Thakur and Brigadier (retd) M M Wanchoo, arrested on Tuesday in the Adarsh Housing Society scam, were on Wednesday remanded to the Central Bureau of Investigation custody till March 31.

Thakur, Wanchoo and former Deputy Secretary in Maharashtra Urban Development Department P V Deshmukh were produced before the special CBI judge M V Kulkarni on Wednesday. Their arrests followed a censure by the Bombay high court of the CBI for not taking action against those who were allegedly involved in the scam.

The accused have been arrested under the provisions of IPC, Prevention of Corruption Act and Benami Transactions Prohibition Act, said CBI special prosecutor Ejaz Khan.

Seeking their custody, the CBI said investigation was at a crucial stage. The accused were a part of the larger conspiracy and the agency had to ascertain the bribe amounts as well as the corruption trail, it said.

According to the agency's plea, Thakur had conspired with officers of Defence Services, promoter of Adarsh Housing Society K L Gidwani, and officers of state government to get the plot (on which Adarsh Society came up) which was in the possession of the army for long.

The accused "manipulated and fabricated records to achieve the objective of getting land allotted in favour of Adarsh", it said.

"In lieu of this abuse of their official position, they obtained for themselves and close relatives, property rights over flats in illegal manner at a very low cost compared to market value for pecuniary advantage," the remand application said.

The CBI application also said that investigation had revealed that Thakur and Wanchoo, in conspiracy with others, fraudulently obtained a no-objection certificate from the army GOC, Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat, for the plot of land in Colaba and got it allotted to Adarsh.

The said land was in possession of local military authority for long, for which GOC was not competent to issue such an NOC, the CBI plea said.

"The land was under CRZ-II...clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests, New Delhi, was essential for development of plot."

Deshmukh fraudulently conveyed to concerned authorities that clearance had been given by MOEF, which led to construction of the high-rise Adarsh building, when no such clearance existed, it said. It was important to unearth the entire conspiracy to establish how the accused managed to get the work done and also the means used by them to entice public servants, the CBI said.

The remand application also said that it was important to find out the "quid pro quo" for clearances to Adarsh from civic agencies such as the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, apart from MoEF and the army.

Defence lawyers Girish Kulkarni and Saket Mone for Thakur and Wanchoo, and Nitin Pradhan for Deshmukh, argued that the CBI had arrested "vulnerable" accused and left out others because they were big politicians or IAS officers.

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