The former Maharashtra Chief Minister, Ashok Chavan, told the Adarsh Commission on Thursday that he was unaware of his relatives owning flats in the housing complex till 2010 when the media reported the matter.
Mr. Chavan’s sister-in-law Seema Vinod Sharma, mother-in-law Bhagwati Manoharlal Sharma and father-in-law’s brother Madanlal Milkiram Sharma were members of the Adarsh society. Mr. Chavan had to resign in the wake of the Adarsh housing society scam.
“It was at the end of October 2010 that I came to know that some of my relatives had applied for membership in Adarsh CHS and it was granted to them,” Mr. Chavan told the two-member judicial panel. They gave up their membership on October 29, 2010, he said. He also did not know whether the application of Seema Sharma for membership was rejected in 2004 and subsequently approved in 2008.
Once again putting the blame on the former Chief Minister, the late Vilasrao Deshmukh, as he did in his previous deposition, Mr. Chavan said “the approval of the members of a cooperative housing society to whom government land is allotted is finally approved by the Chief Minister.”
It was alleged that Mr. Chavan pushed for the inclusion of civilian members in the housing society during his tenure as the Revenue Minister, a charge he refuted before the Commission in an affidavit.
The former Chief Minister said he did not know whether his wife Amita Chavan had consented to surrender the flat allotted to Bhagwati Sharma.
Mr. Chavan was the last witness to depose before the Commission on Thursday. The Commission’s counsel Dipan Merchant said with his deposition, the recording of evidence was over.
The final arguments in the case will begin on October 15. The prosecution will open the arguments.