Union Minister for Power Sushilkumar Shinde told the Adarsh Judicial Commission on Monday that the decision of allotting land to Adarsh Housing Society was taken prior to his taking charge as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra.

Mr. Shinde deposed before the two-member commission and said he did not issue the Letter of Intent (LOI), neither was he consulted before the LOI was issued to the society.

He handled many files related to Adarsh Housing Society during his tenure as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra between January 18, 2003 and November 1, 2004. On Monday, during his deposition, he either put the onus of all the actions on the bureaucrats or pleaded ignorance about issues.

He refused to answer when asked if the conduct of senior bureaucrats was improper as they did not disclose that their family members had obtained membership of the society.

“Do you consider it a serious act of impropriety on part of the Secretary [Subhash Lala] for not informing you (that his family member was a member of the society)?” Advocate Dhiren Shah, who represented the Ministry of Defence, asked Mr. Shinde.

He said that there was no occasion for him to apply his mind and he took all the decisions on the basis of the notes or the advice given by his Secretary.

He said he was not aware that the Society needed prior approval from the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

Union Minister for Science and Technology Vilasrao Deshmukh will depose before the commission on Tuesday.