Maharashtra to table report on Adarsh Society scam

Posted on December 10, 2013 from Maharashtra ι Report #95

Mumbai, Dec 10 (IANS) The Maharashtra government has decided to table the inquiry commission report on the Adarsh Society scam during the ongoing winter session of the legislature.

This assurance was given to the Bombay High Court Tuesday after a public interest petition was filed by the state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seeking directions to the government to table the report.

BJP legislator Yogesh Sagar and party spokesman Atul Shah contended in their petition that there was a conspiracy behind the state government's reluctance to make the contents of the report public and that it was trying to bury the matter.

Four former chief ministers -- late Vilasrao Deshmukh, Ashok Chavan, Shivajirao Patil-Nilangekar and now union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde -- besides politicians and bureaucrats were examined by a two-member commission that probed various aspects of the scam involving the 31-storeyed building in south Mumbai.

During the last budget session of the legislature, the government did not table the report submitted to it on grounds that the Action Taken Report was not ready.

On Tuesday, assistant government pleader G.W. Mattos informed a division bench comprising Justice V.M. Kanade and Justice M.S. Sonak that the Adarsh Society scam probe report would be tabled in the winter session currently underway in Nagpur.

The government's change of heart came a day after it sought dismissal of the BJP petition on grounds that it was not mandatory to table the report under Section 3(4) of the Commission of Inquiry Act.

Rejecting the argument, the high court asked the government to indicate whether it was planning to table the report in the current assembly session, to which the government agreed.

Pointing out that the government has already spent around Rs.7 crore on the commission in the past three years, the BJP leaders' senior counsel Mahesh Jethmalani said the authorities were trying to hoodwink the people.

In January 2011, a two-member commission comprising retired judge, Justice J.A. Patil and former chief secretary P.A. Subramanian was set up and it submitted its report to the state government in April this year.