CBI searches premises of accused in Adarsh housing scam

Mumbai, Jan 30 (PTI) A day after registering a case inthe Adarsh Housing Society scam, the CBI today carried outsearches at premises in Maharashtra and Bihar of three mainaccused, including a retired Army officer and a Congressleader, named in the FIR.

The searches were conducted at the residences andother places of the society''s general secretary R C Thakur,retired Brigadier M M Wanchoo and Congress leader K L Gidwaniin various parts of Maharashtra and Bihar. The office of theAdarsh society located in posh Colaba here was among theplaces raided.

The raids come a day after the CBI filed an FIR naming13 people, including former Maharashtra Chief Minister AshokChavan and some retired senior Army officials.

"Searches are being conducted at Thakur''s residencesin Bihar, Nagpur and Thane and Wanchoo''s house in Pune andGidwani''s house in Mumbai. Searches are also being conductedat the office of Adarsh society," a senior CBI official said.

According to CBI sources, Thakur, Wanchoo and Gidwaniwere allegedly the prime movers in building the society. Allthe three are accused of usurping land not belonging to themand illegally grabbing it, the sources said.

Thakur was the then sub-divisional officer at theDefence Estate Office of Mumbai while Gidwani, a formerCongress MLC, was the chief promoter of the society.

Apart from Chavan and the trio, the FIR also namesretired Lt General P K Rampal, Major Generals A R Kumar and TK Kaul, the then Principal Secretary (Urban Development)Ramanand Tiwari, who was recently suspended by Maharashtragovernment as Information Commissioner, Subash Lala, the thenPrincipal Secretary to the Chief Minister and Brig (retd) R CSharma.

The FIR has been filed under various sections of IPCincluding criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery and showingforged document as genuine besides sections pertaining toPrevention of Corruption Act.

Chavan, who had to quit as chief minister last yearafter it was found that his family members also owned flats inthe society, was revenue minister between 2001-2003 and haddealt with files pertaining to the ownership of the land.

He is alleged to have recommended 40 per centallotment of flats to civilians in the society, which wasmeant for war widows and heroes of Kargil war, the sourcessaid. (More) PTI SP SKL SC

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