Congress MLC Kanhaiyalal Gidwani, who is a member of the controversial Adarsh Housing Society here, on Saturday said it had all approvals and had not done anything wrong.
“There is no question of [our] taking a moral stand on the issue when nothing wrong has been done,” he told a press conference.
Mr. Gidwani also refused to surrender his flats in the society. His family owns three, one issued in his name and the other two owned by his sons.
Some reporters showed him a copy of the query raised, under the Right to Information Act, on May 11, 2010, in which the Army had accepted that the land in question was defence land before it was given to the society.
The MLC said he could also show a similar letter from the Defence Estate Office issued in 2000 which stated the land belonged to the government.
Asked about alleged Coastal Regulation Zone violations, he brushed aside the society's responsibility and said it had all approvals.
But senior officials in the Environment department told The Hindu that it was the owners' responsibility to apply for CRZ clearance. “Ignorance of law is not an excuse,” an official said.
When journalists asked Mr. Gidwani why Chief Minister Ashok Chavan offered his resignation and surrendered all flats of his relatives if there was no wrongdoing, the MLC said: “We can't force anyone to stay [in the society]. If someone wants to quit, the society will consider their application.”
Mr. Gidwani also denied that the land was reserved for Kargil war heroes.
“Though there is no reservation, more than 50 per cent of the flat owners are servicemen or ex-servicemen. Only three Kargil war heroes applied for the flats and we have accommodated them as well,” he said.
“If someone proves that it was defence land or was reserved for Kargil war heroes, I will surrender the flat.”