A CBI court on Thursday granted police custody to all four accused arrested by the agency in the Adarsh case on Wednesday. Three of the four have been granted police custody till March 31. Kanhaiyalal Gidwani, the fourth accused who was earlier in CBI custody for nearly 10 days in another Adarsh-related bribe case, has been granted police custody till March 26.

Major-General (Retired) A. R. Kumar (69), Major-General (Retired) T. K. Kaul (65), the then Collector of Mumbai Pradeep Vyas (47) and former Member of Legislative Council Gidwani (62), have been charged under Sections 120B, 420, 467, 471 of the Indian Penal Code, Sections 13(2) read with 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, and Section 3 of the Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act, 1988.

The CBI told the court that the accused “abused their official position, manipulated and fabricated the records to achieve their objective of getting the land allotted in favour of the Adarsh Cooperative Group Housing Society in an illegal manner and also illegally managed various clearances from the Municipal and State government authorities. In lieu of this abuse of their official position, they obtained for themselves and for their close relatives property rights over flats at a very low cost compared to the market value, as pecuniary advantage”.

Mr. Gidwani is accused of playing a key role in getting allotment of flats in favour of the public servants that dealt with the file. He and his family members own at least three flats in the society and he is being interrogated on the suspicion of having at least four more benami flats there.

“Investigation prima facie revealed that there was a deep-rooted conspiracy among the accused persons, resulting in the construction of the 31-storeyed building by flouting various rules and regulations. The Adarsh society was basically meant for serving/retired defence personnel but at a later stage civilians were also included in the society at the behest of the public servants who dealt with the file and got allotted a flat in their name as pecuniary advantage,” the CBI said in its remand application.

The accused opposed the investigating agency's remand plea and said it was only the frail and the weak who were being arrested and custodial interrogation was not required.