‘It has been established beyond doubt that the land belongs to the government'

Welcoming the interim report of the Adarsh Commission, tabled in the State Assembly on Tuesday, the former Maharashtra Chief Minister, Ashok Chavan, told journalists that the findings dispelled misconceptions about the ownership and use of the land on which the Adarsh housing society stood.

“The truth has come out. I am satisfied that issues which required clarification have come out clearly. The people should know the truth,” Mr. Chavan said.

In the wake of the Adarsh controversy, Mr. Chavan had to resign as the Chief Minister. It was alleged that he pushed for the inclusion of civilian members in the housing society. His late mother-in-law Bhagwati Manoharlal Sharma was among the flat owners in the housing society.

“There was a misconception, rather a perception created all along that the land belonged to the Defence, it was meant for Kargil widows, which was never so. There was a perception that the land was grabbed by a conspiracy of certain people. The Commission, an independent authority, has established beyond doubt [that the land belongs to the government]. It came to the right conclusion through a Herculean process of interrogation and looking at documentation,” he said.

Mr. Chavan said that although it was the interim report, it was the “final report” on “two main issues” – ownership of the land and whether or not the land was reserved for Kargil widows.

“There are other issues that need interrogation and the law will take its own course, but the two main issues have been addressed. The Commission has its own importance. They have seen all the records. People had jumped to conclusions,” said Mr. Chavan.

Asked if the Adarsh controversy that made him resign from the post of Chief Minister seemed unfair in light of the report, Mr. Chavan said, “That is history. Let's not talk about that.”

In response to a question on his party's stand, he said: “I resigned on moral grounds.” He said it was “too early and premature” to talk about the future course of action.

Mr. Chavan, one of the accused in the case filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation, did not wish to comment on the CBI case.

Meanwhile, the former legislator, Kanhaiyalal Gidwani, under arrest in the CBI case, said outside the court on Tuesday that “the matter is sub-judice. The truth will come out in future course of time. I am sure we will get justice.”