Chavan’s deposition comes three days after former Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh deposed before the panel. Seeking to absolve himself of culpability in the ‘Adarsh’ scam, Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh had passed the buck to Ashok Chavan, saying the “whole” matter was referred to the revenue department for clearance after which the land was allotted.
Chavan, who had to step down as CM soon after the alleged scam surfaced, was revenue minister during Deshmukh’s first stint as Maharashtra Chief Minister between 1999 and 2003.
Deposing before the panel for the second day, Deshmukh also said that the revenue minister had not brought to his notice at the time of issuing Letter of Intent (LOI) to Adarsh society for allotment of land that the plot did not have a property card or a survey number.
Deshmukh also said the decision to include civilians as members of the society, which was said to be exclusively meant for members of the defence services and war widows, was taken by Chavan.
“Adarsh society had written a letter to me in June 2000 stating that it had met with the revenue minister Ashok Chavan wherein it was agreed to include 40 per cent civilians as members in the society. The letter also mentions that the physical possession of the land in question was with the Army for the last 30 years. I sent the letter to the revenue department. The revenue minister, however, did not get back to me on the two issues,” Dehsmukh said.
Deshmukh said that he was not informed by the revenue department that the land where the building stands was in possession of the local military authority and a garden existed on the plot.