Mumbai, June 30 (IANS) Deposing before the two-member commission investigating the Adarsh housing scam, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan Saturday shifted the blame on his predecessor Vilasrao Deshmukh and other senior bureaucrats.
Chavan claimed that he cleared relevant documents as senior bureaucrats had already checked them. He added that a revenue minister is often guided by the principal secretary, who first studies all proposals.
He also passed the buck to the finance ministry, stating that the chief minister has to make a reference to the finance department if a said proposal does not get a nod from the cabinet or the chief minister's office.
The two-member judicial commission comprising former judge, Justice J.A. Patil and former state chief secretary P. Subrahmanyam, had earlier this week questioned another former Maharashtra chief minister and now Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and another former chief minister and now the Union Science and Technology Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh as a witness.
Chavan had to step down as chief minister after the scam surfaced in 2010. He was the revenue minister during Deshmukh's first stint as Maharashtra chief minister between 1999 and 2003 during which permissions were granted for the construction of the Adarsh society building.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has, in its chargesheet, named Chavan as one of the 14 accused in the scam.
Deshmukh had, earlier this week, passed the buck to Chavan, who was then the revenue minister and the then finance minister Jayant Patil, stating that he (Deshmukh) had signed the files related to Adarsh housing society only after it was cleared by them.
The Adarsh scam involves a prime plot in South Mumbai's Colaba on which a 31-storey building was constructed by the society.